Tencent rolled out on Wednesday a Zoom-like video conferencing app dubbed Tencent Meeting amid its push to enterprise-facing services.

Why it matters: Expansion out of traditional consumer-facing gaming and social businesses to enterprise-facing services underlines the company’s efforts to seek a new growth narrative and build a new moat against rising upstarts.

  • Tencent is making the transition along with rival Alibaba. The e-commerce company is also moving into business-facing services since the beginning of this year.
  • The size of China’s video conferencing market surged 36.2% year on year to RMB 3.1 billion ($439 million) in 2018, according to data from research institute CCW Research.
  • Tencent Meeting was launched a few months after Zoom was blocked in the country. Chinese users of the US video-conferencing tool were forced to switch to a local version after the blockage.
  • In addition to Zoom, the app is competing with local rivals like Shenzhen-listed BizConf Telecom and XYlink, among others.

China’s Zoom users switch to local version after blockage

Details: Launched by Tencent Cloud, Tencent Meeting is a communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration by leveraging cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and online security technologies.

  • Currently, the free version allows individual users to invite up to 25 participants for 45 minutes.
  • The professional version, which can invite up to 100 participants, is priced at RMB99 ($14) per month. The enterprise version supports meetings with over 300 callers.
  • Users can log in via their mobile number, or through WeChat account login, a common sight on new Tencent apps.
  • The conferences created are shareable through WeChat, WeChat Work and QQ. Meeting participants who haven’t download the app can join through WeChat mini program, or WeChat Work.
  • The company claims to maintain ultra-low latency of 80 ms while maintaining high picture quality. Other notable localized features of the app includes video filters and background blurring.

Context: The Chinese tech firm launched an organizational overhaul last September to fuel the enterprise-faced transition.

  • As part of the refocusing, the Chinese internet giant aims to invest billions of dollars to spur the company’s push into cloud computing aimed at business clients.

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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