As of Thursday, Tencent’s market cap exceeded $246 billion USD, overtaking Alibaba’s market cap of $242 billion USD.

The switch reflected strong gains made by the social and gaming giant over the past quarter, driven by a handful of new investments including Clash of Clans game developer Supercell. It also points to a poignant truth about China’s consumer culture, and where the power lies – Tencent owns the country’s most valuable marketing tool, a social networking site with over 800 million users.

To be sure, Tencent’s triumph over Alibaba is not a definitive one. The two company’s stock prices faltered together in late 2015, and steadily resurged in unison during the first half of 2016. In September last year Alibaba’s stock dipped heavily enough to cede the title of Asia’s largest tech company to Tencent briefly, before retaking the lead.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com