The Reason Behind Why Tencent Company Is Most Powerful

June 27, 2024 (4 weeks ago)

Who is the biggest video game publisher  in the world?

Nintendo, Sony or maybe EA?   The answer is Tencent, a Chinese company based  in Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley.

Tencent   stretches across the global gaming industry  like an octopus. The company owns Riot Games   and at the same time has large stakes in game  developers Epic Games and Supercell. It also   has stakes in Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft.

The studio behind Call of Duty Mobile is also   entirely owned by Tencent. The company also owns  shares in Spotify, the car manufacturer Tesla,   the largest global record company Universal  Music, the digital bank N26 and Snapchat.

With WeChat and QQ, Tencent also owns the  most popular messenger services in Asia.   With WeChat Pay and WeBank, they dominate the  asian cashless payment market. Tencent is the  sixth largest company in the world and celebrates  new revenue records year after year. Behind the   company’s success is brilliant foresight, but  also plagiarism and unquestioning cooperation   with a government that uses every tool at its  disposal to spy on its people and companies. In the late 90s, Tencent copied the legendary  messenger service ICQ – starting in 2004, a series   of successful browser games were released.

A short  time later, Tencent brought itself into the global   gaming market and copied games from abroad. The  company put its focus on mobile games early on,   as many chinese owned a smartphone, but not a  computer or console. There was no competition   from abroad. Basically, for foreign companies,  the Chinese market is still not completely open.   In China, there are lists for certain industries  and sectors where foreign companies still can’t   invest. Then there are certain industries  where a chinese partner is mandatory.   For a long time, Tencent was the only way  for many international developers to offer   their games on the gigantic chinese market  after all. This is how Tencent grew rapidly.

At the same time, the Tencent app WeChat exploded.  This was originally a clone of WhatsApp. Today,   the app is not only used to spend time, chat  or call a taxi – it is also used to send money,   take out insurance and contracts, and to get  information. You can do it all within the app.

WeChat now has over 1.2 billion users and  dominates the daily lives of most chinese.   In the wrong hands, of course, such an app and  its data power would be an incredibly powerful   tool – hmm… There is no democracy in the  People’s republic of China. The communist party   dictates the lives of the Chinese population in  all areas. There are cells of the party in every   larger company – also in Tencent. Tencent’s

WeChat  and similar apps offer the chinese government new   opportunities to censor unpopular opinions. Such  services can be used to monitor the population and   control information.

Amnesty international gave  WeChat and QQ a privacy rating of 0/100 points.   Among other things, the rating assessed how  securely user data is encrypted and stored.   Tencent was also the only company to leave  open the question of whether it would deny   governments a backdoor to the data. More than  100 million people use WeChat outside China.   Citizen Lab, a research organization at the  University of Toronto, has closely examined   the app.

According to them, the chinese government  also reads confidential app data abroad, and uses   it for its domestic propaganda machine. But it’s  not just WeChat and co. The communist party also   seems to monitor and control its population  through video games. In 2019, for example,   the Chinese government arranged that Tencent and  other game providers introduce new plain-name   identification systems.

In some cases, even facial  recognition was required to play games. Children   are allowed to play for a maximum of 90 minutes  per day. On holidays up to 3 hours and between   10 PM and 8 AM not at all. At the same time, games  seem to only be permitted if they conform to the   values of the Communist party. If not, they have a  poor chance. In 2017, for example,

Tencent bought   into the South Korean studio Bluehole – that’s  the publisher of PUBG. The Chinese government has   threatened Tencent to block PUBG in China because  it is too violent and not socialist enough.  

In 2019, Tencent took the game off the market  and released “Game for Peace” in its place.

This is PUBG without blood and death and in the  style of the Blue Warriors of the Air Force of   the People’s Liberation Army of China. Even  the game scores were taken from the original.   However, the Communist Party also seems to have  influence outside of China through Tencent. In   2019, there was a scandal surrounding the NBA –  Tencent is an official partner of the league and   streams the games for the Chinese market.

The state broadcaster CCTV televises them.   The manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey,  publishes a Tweet – the Chinese government doesn’t   like that at all. Start broadcaster CCTV and  Tencent announce they will no longer broadcast   NBA Preseason games of the Rockets. Tencent also  wants to end all of its business relationships   with the Rockets. According to NBA Commissioner  Adam Silver, the Chinese government demands that   Morey be fired immediately. The situation only  calms down when an apology from Morey follows   on Twitter a short time later. The players  also apologize: “Yeah, we apologize you know   you know We love China, we love you know playing  there” – The NBA’s deal with Tencent probably   just tasted too good – “Money is money”  – China is expected to overtake the US   as the world’s strongest economic power this  decade – in fact, two completely different world   visions are colliding. One with democratic,  liberal values and one with centralist,   authoritarian ones –

Do we have to  fear that the Chinese government   through Tencent and its holdings will soon  gain more influence in our country as well?   Principally, Tencent and other chinese giants  like Alibaba want to make money first and   foremost – and they want to do that abroad, too  – “This is the english saying baba, money is   money” – There would be no indication that china  would become missionary in the rest of the world.

In the USA and in the EU, privacy and data would  also be much better protected – Surveillance,   control and propaganda by the chinese state  here are not to be feared. The rise of China   is nevertheless perhaps an opportunity  to strengthen our own democratic values.

Tencent’s success is symbolic of China’s  hugely successful economic policy.   Foreign corporations were excluded – at the same  time, everything was copied from themy. At least   until they had the necessary money to buy the  companies behind them or to become innovative   themselves. Today, Tencent is gigantic and  continues to grow. The Chinese government’s   abuse of Tencent’s products is also emblematic of  a whole new dystopian kind of techno-dictatorship.   Now, with this government, this country will  soon become the strongest economic power in the   world – kind of creepy – technology and consumer  trends will come from China more often in the   future.

There will probably be more frequent  ideologically driven power games. Nevertheless,   good cooperation with china, not mere coexistence,  is necessary. China is a leader in many research   areas – We need their products and they need  our markets. For global challenges, like climate   change, we all need to pull together anyway –  even the Chinese government is aware of this.

Cheers! As always, we hope you enjoyed this video. Let us know what you think about Tencent and its global holdings in the comments!  Next week, we will upload a video on Nike and how they almost pay no taxes. So, be sure to click on that, and we’ll see you next week!

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