The Gaming Industries Monster Company
Tencent was founded in 1998 by Ma Huateng, Zhang Zhidong, Chen Yidan, Zeng Liqing, and Xu Cheney. Tencent is the company that created the instant messenger known as OICQ. Tencent changed the messenger platform’s name to QQ because of a looming lawsuit threat from ICQ, a branded messenger platform from AOL. In the early stages of Tencent, a media company out of South Africa called Naspers purchased a whopping 46.5% share in 2001. With ramped up funding, Tencent Holding Ltd became listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004. Their main source of income became premium memberships of QQ, and allowing printing companies to license and sell clothing and goods with their Penguin logo. 2004 is the year Tencent began eyeing the gaming industry and offering playable games on their platform. They began licensing out games in 2007, most notably DFO (Dungeon Fighter Online) and CF (CrossFire).
The Domination of the Gaming Industry Began in 2011
February 2011, Tencent became the owner of 92.78% of Riot Games for ~230 Million USD. The gaming industry’s poster child of online gaming referred to by players as LoL, League of Legends, had been bought out. By 2015, Tencent owned 100% of LoL and Riot Games. Their next target became Epic Games, The creators of the Unreal Engine. That’s right, Tencent owns part of Player Unknowns Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Tencent knew Activision wouldn’t be as easy to persuade, but the company still bought 4.9% of its shares in 2017.
In January 2014, China South City Holdings Ltd received $200 Million from Tencent to develop heavily in e-commerce and logistics. Tencent found their entry into listing on NASDAQ by purchasing JD.com Inc. This opened up a door for Tencent to compete directly with Alibaba. Tencent began buying and investing in smaller e-commerce companies, widening their reach and hold on the market. The gaming industry interest became inticing for Tencent, so they bought just under 20% of the lottery company, China LotSynergy Holdings Ltd.