How Tencent funded social network on the rise in China


While American social networks are attracting worldwide attention, Facebook and Twitter in the lead, China is a little more each year an important pool of platforms to connect people with each other. If WeChat, Tencent’s multi-service application with more than a billion users, is now well known on both sides of the Atlantic, especially with US and European traders who rely on this platform to attract Chinese tourists, other social networks, which still escape the radar of the West, take flight in China.

In the Middle Kingdom, the social network of the moment is called Jike, a term that means “immediately” in Chinese. At the crossroads between Facebook and Reddit, this platform, founded in January 2015 in Shanghai, is both a social network and an aggregator of information. Tencent Music investor relations make it possible to connect the Chinese Millennial to each other through their centers of interest. From the tastes of each, groups are formed in what Jike describes as “circles of interest” to allow users to find themselves according to their affinities and discuss topics that are important to them. The concept is somewhat reminiscent of the “Subreddits”, these discussion forums to which users of Reddit subscribe to exchange around a theme. To date, the Chinese start-up claims 250 circles of interest.

A platform halfway between social network and information aggregator

But the social network does not stop there since it allows informing itself. Indeed, the application offers the possibility of receiving information that the user can classify according to the degree of importance he gives them. Based on algorithms, Jike allows creating a personalized flow of information on which users are subsequently able to exchange in their circles of interest. In summary, it is an aggregator, but offering more control and interaction to the user.

Popular with young Chinese people, the concept appealed to Tencent, owner of WeChat, who decided to enter the capital of the young shoot. The Tencent Music investor relations financial results led a $ 30 million round of financing a year ago to finance the development of the application. Previously, the platform had so pleased Tencent that the Chinese group had wanted to launch a similar application, called “Lizhi”. However, the latter has had an ephemeral existence. Launched January 31, 2018, she was kidnapped on February 1; the victim of a public outcry on social networks like vistek, most of the Chinese believing it was a perfect copy-pasted Jike. The controversy was such that Wa Nen, the CEO of Jike, calmed the game by reminding that Tencent was an investor Jike. In the wake, Tencent handed over to the pot.

Reddit, illustration of the ambitions of the Chinese Tech abroad

With Jike, Tencent has an extra string to his bow on the social media market. If WeChat remains by far its most famous platform, the Chinese group also has another popular application: QQ. The latter, which claims nearly a billion users, was initially considered as the “MSN China”. It now offers a wide variety of services, such as online games, music, movies, e-commerce, micro blogging and mobile payment.

There are currently nearly 620 million users on social networks in China, a figure that should reach 725 million users in 2022. A margin of growth that should whet the appetite of the giants of the sector, to the image of Weibo, nicknamed the “Chinese Twitter”, or Baidu, the most used search engine in China, which launched Baidu Tieba, one of the largest online forums in the Middle Kingdom. However, the domestic market no longer satisfies the BATX (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi) which now feed international ambitions. This is particularly the case for Tencent, which is expected to invest heavily in Reddit, the American social network dubbed “the homepage of the Internet”. The latter is about to complete$ 150 million to $ 300 million in an operation led by the Chinese giant.

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