Chinese Tech Giant Tencent, Best Known for Messaging App WeChat, Now Worth More than Facebook

When thinking of the biggest players in the tech world people tend to gravitate towards the likes of Apple, Google, and of course Facebook. However one company often overlooked by the Western world is Tencent, the Chinese tech giant who rose to decidedly dominate China’s social media market with their ever-popular mobile messaging app WeChat. Well now nobody can really argue that they don’t have a place among the aforementioned companies as Tencent shares closed 2.4% higher in Hong Kong on Tuesday, valuing the conglomerate at around $522 billion. Facebook, for comparison, is currently worth approximately $519 billion.

Tencent’s success can admittedly be attributed at least in part to the fact that many of their rivals, such as Facebook and Twitter, are blocked in their home country; though credit must also be given to the company themselves who have found success not only with their own products and subsidiaries, but also a number of overseas investments. These investments include acquiring a 12% stake in Snap Inc. and 5% in Tesla, to name just a couple prominent examples.

As previously stated Tencent is best known for being the company behind the popular mobile messenger WeChat, which currently boasts close to 1 billion users who rely on the service for tasks ranging from basic communication to making payments and so much more. The company have made a point of turning WeChat into a widely-comprehensive service in order to increase its appeal and usefulness, and this has proven to be a wise strategy. Despite their success however they do still pale in comparison to Facebook in terms of worldwide users, the latter remaining the world’s most popular social network with around 2 billion users.

In spite of their smaller user base Tencent have nonetheless managed to overtake Facebook as far as market value is concerned, bolstered as they are by their forays into the mobile gaming and video streaming markets. Investors are betting big on the company’s success in these fields, as evidenced by the doubling of Tencent’s share price over the past year.

This sharp rise in market value led to a milestone moment for Tencent, as they have become the first ever Chinese company to surpass $500 billion – a fact sure to disgruntle those over at Alibaba, their greatest Chinese rival which currently has a value of approximately $480 billion.

It must be stated however that Tencent still have a battle on their hands if they are to overtake the giants of the Western tech world such as Apple, Google’s parent Alphabet, and Amazon, which are valued at $870 billion, $710 billion, and $543 billion respectively.

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