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Tencent QQ

Tencent is one of the leading Chinese IT companies. It makes the very popular free Chinese chat program QQ and the company is therefore generally called QQ. Tencent started in 1998 as an open ICQ version, but has since developped many services ranging from a video site , to forum site , games site , ringtones and so on. All of those sites are linked to the main portal of QQ :


Photo of the Tencent main entrance, taken a few days before Chinese New Year 2010


Working at Tencent

Currently I am working in Tencent as one of only very few foreigners (in fact, most of the time I'm the only Westerner in Tencent's Shenzhen headquarter).  I really enjoy working in this company, although communication is always very hard since my Chinese is very limited. Thankfully most colleagues can and are willing to speak English with me. As a foreign employee of Tencent, I hope I can help other foreigners with some tips about Tencent. It's not just an IM program in China, it's a whole lifestyle here and there are so many interesting products that are difficult to appreciate because of the language barriers. On this page you will find some background information about Tencent. If you are also interested in working for Tencent, please read this article first.



Tencent currently has over 741.7 million (early 2008) registered QQ accounts with about 300 million active accounts! These are very impressive numbers, but the chances are pretty good that most foreigners have never heard about QQ. Almost all of Tencent's users are from China. There are also users in other parts of Asia and in South-Africa. IM usage seems to depend heavily on the part of the world where you live. In the Netherlands it is MSN for example, here in China it's QQ.



Tencent's headquarter is in Shenzhen. Tencent operates from several buildings in and around the high-tech park in Nanshan, but currently Tencent is building it's own office near the Nanshan police station it is scheduled for completion at the end of 2008/early 2009. Besides Shenzhen, Tencent has offices in all the other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqin and so on. It also operates IDC's (Internet Data Centers, or servers) in many locations all around China. Actually I have no idea where, but there are many locations. This is of course inevitable when you have over 200 million active users. There are several thousand people working for Tencent in total, but I'm not sure what the exact number is. With the expected growth of the Chinese market, I'm sure this will only increase. 

Tencent's former HQ (untill summer of 2009): Fiyata building

Some more photos from our offices in the new Tencent building:
sitting area with view
Stairs between pairs of floors

New Tencent office overview

View Larger Map
New HQ: Tencent Building, Kejizhongyi Avenue, Hi-techPark,Nanshan District,Shenzhen.

Update: Tencent signed an official agreement with the Chengdu municipal government on 22nd May 2008 (10 days after the earthquake in Sichuan) to invest 550 million Yuan in operations in Chengdu. The two sides announced that Tencent will invest CNY 550 million in Chengdu New High Technology Industrial Development Zone by building the Chengdu Tencent Research Center, Information Processing Center, and Customer Service Center. read more
Tencent's Tianjin R&D Center
On Feb. 24 2009 Tencent Tianjin R&D and Data Storage Center held a ceremony to break ground and commence construction. Tencent expects to finish building its $500 million data and research and development center in Tianjin's Binhai Service Outsourcing Industry Park in June 2013. The Center covers a land area of 40,000 square meters and a total construction area of 90,000 square meters. It will focus on data backup and is expected to finish and put to use its first stage facility of over 600 million yuan at the end of 2010. The Center will support Tencent's growth in north China with affluent data resources.

Merchandise and Advertising

One way of revenue for Tencent is selling qq coins, or virtual money. With this virtual money, users can buy services online such as ringtones, games, but also use premium memberships, more storage online and so on. Another important source of income is advertising via the IM and the QQ frontpage. If you would like to advertise on or inside the QQ messenger, you can contact me and I can get you into contact with the people from the advertising department. Tencent also does advertising for specific products like .

Tencent Advertising

(added Februari 2010) Tencent offers several advertising opportunities to itlogo_tencent_minds clients. Most well known is obviously the portal website, but you can also advertise inside the QQ client for example. Advertising can be customized to certain groups of users as well. For more details about advertising, please contact the advertising team in Shenzhen or Beijing (scroll down the page to "Advertisement & co-operation". Do keep in mind that Tencent is a very big company and it's not cheap to advertise on the frontpage of QQ. Usually big companies such as Nike and Coca-Cola advertise on those positions, but there are also options for smaller budgets. The official (Chinese) website about advertising is Tencent Mind. This website also offers quotes for advertising.

Currently, you can advertise on :

  • QQMusic
  • QQ Instant Messenger
  • Qzone
  • Several applications
  • QQShow
  • QQ Live video

Rates range from a few thousand yuan to 240.000 Yuan per day! See the online quotations for more details.

Tencent Game Studios

(added Januari 2010) Even though Tencent is famous for the QQ instant messenger, there are many more important products. One of those is the growing games market. Tencent now has eight games studios :  five in Shenzhen, one in Chengdu, one in Shanghai and one in Boston. The studios in Shenzhen work on "QQ Free Fantasy Online", "QQ Speed"&"QQ Tang", "QQ Mini Game Portal ", "QQ Penguin" & "QQ Bear " and " Dungeon&Fighter" & "Cross Fire". The team in Chengdu works on "QQ Three Kingdoms" and the teams in Shanghai and Boston are working on undisclosed projects :)


Future plans 

In the second half of 2008, Tencent plans to expand it's business significantly in the gaming market in China. Currently Tencent is ranked 5th in this market (after for example Shanda and Netease). Tencent plans to boost its staff by a fifth and rank among China’s top three online gaming operators by the end of 2008. Other plans include diversifying from IM and entertainment into e-mail and improving the search engine (


Tencent plots expansion, takes on Shanda (SZDaily June-9-2008)


Financial results 2007 

Tencent released the financial results for 2007 at the 19th of march 2008. Key numbers are:

  • 300 million active IM accounts
  • 741.7 registered QQ accounts
  • 523.1 million USD revenue over 2007 (36% increase over 2006)

Most remarkable is the distribution of the revenues:

  • Internet services (games, pets, etc): 344 million USD (66%)
  • Mobile services: 110 million USD (21%)
  • Online ads: 67 million USD (13%)

See this link for more indepth analysis:

QQ announces 2007 earnings | Facebook should look carefully

Tencent Announces 2008 Interim and Second Quarter Results  (pdf)

Highlights for the First Half of 2008:

  • Total revenues were RMB3,032.7 million (USD442.1 million1), an increase of 84.8% over the firsthalf of year ended June 30, 2007 (“YoY”)
  • Revenues from Internet value-added services (IVAS) were RMB2,035.8 million (USD296.8million), an increase of 94.2% YoY

Financial results 2008 

Highlights of 2008 (unaudited ):

  • Total revenues were RMB7,154.5 million (USD1,046.8 million[1]), an increase of 87.2% over the year ended December 31, 2007 ("YoY") -- Revenues from Internet value-added services (IVAS) were RMB4,915.0 million (USD719.1 million), an increase of 95.5% YoY -- Revenues from Mobile & telecommunications value-added services (MVAS) were RMB1,399.0 million (USD204.7 million), an increase of 73.2% YoY
  • Revenues from Online advertising were RMB826.0 million (USD120.9 million), an increase of 67.5% YoY
  • Gross profit was RMB4,984.1 million (USD729.2 million), an increase of 84.4% YoY. Gross margin decreased to 69.7% from 70.8% last year
  • Operating profit was RMB3,246.0 million (USD474.9 million), an increase of 98.5% YoY. Operating margin increased to 45.4% from 42.8% last year
  • Profit for the year was RMB2,815.7 million (USD412.0 million), an increase of 79.6% YoY. Net margin decreased to 39.4% from 41.0% last year
  • Profit attributable to the equity holders of the Company for the year was RMB2,784.6 million (USD407.4 million), an increase of 77.8% YoY
  • Basic earnings per share were RMB1.552. Diluted earnings per share were RMB1.514.
  • The Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of HKD0.25 per share for the year ended December 31, 2008 and a special dividend of HKD0.10 per share to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Company, subject to the approval of the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 13, 2009. The proposed dividend will be payable on May 27, 2009.

Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said, "In 2008, Tencent delivered strong financial and operating results, leveraging our diversified, platform-based business model which is unique in China's Internet market. We are also excited to see that, during the year, China has become the largest Internet market in the world by number of users and that Internet has increasingly become an indispensable part of everyday life for people in China."

"While we continue to see significant long-term potential in the Internet market, we are conscious of the potential negative impact of a slowing economy and intensifying competition in the market. Our online advertising business will experience particular pressure as advertisers reduce or delay their advertising budget, while our user-paid small ticket based entertainment and membership services will be relatively more resilient. To navigate through this challenging macro environment and position the Company for future growth, we will manage our business rigorously while continuing to make necessary investments in our platforms and our people," he added.

read more in the official press release (pdf)

Tencent invests 300 million USD in DST

Tencent has announced it will invest 300 Million USD in DST, a leading player in the Russian and Eastern European internet market. From the press release (pdf) :

The aggregate consideration of approximately US$300 million, which will be paid in cash, gives Tencent approximately a 10.26% economic interest in DST upon completion of the transaction. Tencent will hold approximately 0.51% of the total voting power of DST and have the right to nominate one observer to the DST Board.

President of Tencent, Mr. Martin Lau, said, “We are excited to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with DST, a key global Internet player and a leader in Russian-speaking Internet markets. The investment allows us to benefit from the fast-growing Internet market in Russia, as well as to leverage our technical and operational know-how to strengthen the leadership position of DST and explore new business opportunities in the Russian-speaking Internet markets.”

External links 

By far the best source of information about Tencent/QQ by 'Plus Eight Star'.Very detailed and lots of good pictures to make it interesting to read:



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Anneka  - Working at Tencent     | |2011-06-09 15:32:23
Hello there,
I am going for an interview with Tencent Shanghai for a Marketing Manager role early next week, Tues 14th June. I found this site, and I have a few questions about the company, and would be very grateful if you can offer me some advice.

My email address is If you do not mind answering a few questions, please feel free to connect with me.
luís miguel ieong  - informação candidatura   | |2011-11-11 18:27:20
Olá, sou um especialista do lotos,em Portugal, Europa. Inventei um novo método de aposta do loto que poder apostar até 35 números ou mais,tenho 3 livros editados sobre este tema, gostaria de obter informações para poder candidata-me no Tencent como conselheiro especialista do loto para um novo desafio. por favor contacto comigo, o meu e-mail
luis ieong, 11 de Novembro de 2011, Portugal
Ankur Tiwari  - To find a Job Post in Tencent     | |2011-12-07 01:07:11
I am a B.Tech student from a famous Indian University (VIT University) , and i got to know about Tencent by my chinese friends in my college. I really want to work in Tencent China as an IT job post. I have done my B.Tech in Computer Sciences and now , i am working in Cognizant. Can You please guide me on, how to apply for Tencent? I am really waiting for your response.

currently , i stay in my country. But if i get some information from you, then i will do the same to apply for Tencent.
Julie  - Consultant     | |2012-01-21 05:02:12
Hi, I want to do advertising on and Qzone. We are a small company that offers English conversation lessons with Americans via Skype. We want simple, targeted advertising to students.
malau   | |2012-03-03 18:09:05
Tencent is really nothing more than a by proxy arm of the Government and is deeply involved in monitoring conversations and reporting them to the Government. If you work for Tencent you are legitamizing their (Tencent's) Human Rights abuses.

I bet you won't approve this comment for moderation, and censor it.
Thijs   | |2012-03-04 16:07:28
Well, I approved it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I wonder what you base your opinion on though. I believe Tencent does far more good than evil. And this is based on having worked there for 5 years!

3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 April 2010 )
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