Mobile QQ, WeChat, and Q-zone rank No1, No 2 and No. 4, respectively, of non-game apps in China in terms of daily active users (DAU), said Marin Lau, president of Tencent, at an internal meeting yesterday. Sogou Input Method ranks No. 3 with 70 million daily active users. Since Tencent just bought a 36.5% stake in Sogou, Mr. Lau counts it as 0.5 app of Tencent’s. The fifth one is Qihoo 360 Mobile Assistant.

Here are some highlights in his talk on China’s mobile market and Tencent’s strategy on mobile,

  • Mobile gaming grew much faster in this year than the previous one to two years. Game players of PC-based client games are not moving to mobile. Tencent believes mobile game players are new adopters and the number is growing.
  • Advertising on portal sites decelerated or even decreased. Visitors to the mobile app of Tencent news portal surpassed those to the Web version. 75% visits to Weibo are on mobile.
  • Mobile search monetization has been well established, but disruption is around the corner.
  • E-commerce, online payments and other offline-life-related online services are growing fast but haven’t been disrutpted by mobile. Tencent management want its e-commerce division to be a lead or prepared when mobile-commerce explodes at some future time.
  • Big Chinese Internet companies are grabbing land in the mobile market through M&As, such as Baidu’s acquisitions of 91 Wireless,  PPS and Nuomi, Alibaba’s investments in Sina Weibo, AutoNavi and UC Web. Tencent hopes to take a considerable share in search through investment in Sogou and deep cooperation with it.
  • WeChat has brought Tencent some 10 – 20 million high-end users (It is thought that Tencent QQ IM has been used by low-end Chinese users). The number isn’t big but means opportunities in apps in online media, e-commerce and the like, said Lau. Also Tencent counts on WeChat to help it goes international.

As a long-time Internet messaging tool developer who has been making the largest chunk of revenues through online gaming, Tencent is working hard on mobile messaging/social apps, Mobile QQ, WeChat and Q-zone, and counts on mobile games to generate revenues first. Tencent has launched four titles on its mobile game platform. Users of Mobile QQ and WeChat can access those games directly within them. The platform announced today it had licensed two mobile games from two third-party developers and would launch them later. It is expected that there will be a dozen of titles on the platform by the end of this year.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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