Tencent market cap tops US$100b
TENCENT Holdings Ltd's market value surpassed US$100 billion (RM326 billion) within a decade of going public as Asia's biggest Internet company capitalises on China's explosion in online gaming and messaging.
Tencent's 2.2 per cent increase in Hong Kong this week lifted its market value to HK$780.6 billion (RM327.16 billion). The company run by billionaire Pony Ma joins six other members of Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index in the US$100 billion club, including PetroChina Co and China Mobile Ltd.
China's online population surged almost sevenfold since Tencent's 2004 initial public offering, with revenue at the Shenzhen-based firm more than doubling in the past two years. China's online gaming sales are expected to reach 1.3 trillion yuan (RM690.21 billion) by 2016, from 66.2 billion yuan last year, according to Shanghai-based Internet consulting firm IResearch.
Tencent's market capitalisation is greater than that of SoftBank Corp, McDonald's Corp and Boeing Co. It trails a handful of technology companies worldwide, including Apple Inc, Google Inc, Microsoft Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and Facebook Inc, which is valued at US$103.5 billion.
Also yesterday, Tencent said it paid US$448 million for part of China's third-largest search engine to help compete against Baidu Inc. Tencent bought a 36.5 per cent stake in Sohu.com Inc's Sogou unit with an option to increase the investment to 40 per cent, according to a joint statement after the Hong Kong market closed.
Tencent shares fell 0.2 per cent to HK$420.20 at 1.34pm here.
Tencent's QQ instant messaging service had 818 million monthly active users at the end of June, and its WeChat service had 236 million. That compares with about one million instant-messaging accounts in 1999, according to its website.
Tencent is developing offerings for WeChat, known as Weixin in China, to compete with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the nation's biggest e-commerce company. Bloomberg