Tencent expects microblog users to grow to 200-300 mln in 2011

22 April 2011 23 h 25 min 0 comments

Tencent Holdings Ltd, the second China Internet company after Baidu, just announced it expects “an increase in microblog subscribers to 200-300 million by the end of the year from 160 million now”, as social networking gain popularity in the country.

China, which has more than 400 million Internet users has seen a boom in online games, social networks, instant messaging as well as microblogging with the explosion of chinese version of Facebook and Twitter

Microblogging will be an essential business operation for Tencent, so we are determined to invest unlimited resources to it,” Li Fang, senior executive in charge of microblogs, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday 21 April. In the same interview, Tencent announced that its services including QQ (China’s largest instant messaging platform), and social-networking site QZone, has been adding 800,000 to one million users daily as China’s increasingly tech-savvy population goes online to make friends and chat”.

In China, where twitter and facebook are forbidden, microblog market is now largely dominated by Sina Corp and Tencent, but other web portals, such as Sohu.com Inc and NetEase.com Inc are about to launch similar services. And last week, the microblog only platform, Renren, announced its IPO in NY.

None of these operators are earning money on this activity and Tencent is admitting that he hasnt ”found a mature method to do it”.

SOURCE: Reuters (21/04/2011)

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