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

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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