This is part of an article based on an interview with Tencent’s Steven Chang. To read the full article, sign up for BI Intelligence.

Tencent is making its own claim as the main gateway for Western brands into China. The technology giant recently opened up advertising tools to marketers in the United States to bridge the world’s largest and second largest advertising market and give the brand new capabilities through its advertising messaging app, WeChat and QQ Chinese audience.

To showcase its strengths to global brands and marketers, Tencent is participating for the first time in New York Advertising Week, the advertising week held every fall. BI Intelligence teamed up with Steven Chang, corporate vice president of Tencent Networks Media Group (OMG), to discuss the company’s strategy to attract brands to the platform.

According to Stephen introduced Tencent’s strategy can be summed up in two words:

  1. “Connector” – China’s personnel and businesses

Tencent has a “social-based” self-describing platform that owns 968 million and 850 million users respectively, China’s top instant messaging and social networks – WeChat (or local WeChat) and QQ. In June 2017, wechat alone had 870 million users. By the end of 2016, WeChat had 10 million official accounts, similar to Facebook’s business page.

Each of these applications, especially WeChat, is a link in China’s Internet activities that connects people and services online and offline. Sina Weibo, which had 367 million monthly users by the end of the Second quarter of 2017, eclipsed the number of users of these applications and became the next largest social platform in the country.

Tencent also lags behind TenPay, China’s second-largest online payment platform, and is the largest shareholder of China’s No. 2 online retailer JD.com.

  1. “Content” – An ecosystem that attracts and retains users

Another competitive advantage of Tencent is its breadth of application content and intellectual property (IP). It is the world’s highest-paid online gaming company.

Tencent News leads the Chinese industry in terms of everyday users. Tencent video ranked first in mobile video viewing. The online reading platform “Tencent Literature” data show that as of the end of 2016, the daily number of paid readers is about 2.5 million.

In early 2017, the company passed three streaming services, QQ Music, Cool Song, and Sellou, accounting for 77% of the Chinese music streaming market.

In the broadcast space, Tencent NBA has 370 million unique users in the 2016-2017 season, with more than 100 million used for live competitions.

At the end of the season, the Tencent NBA Finals broadcast attracted more than 175 million people and created a world record for online live broadcast viewing.

Tencent’s portfolio of content enables it to experiment with intellectual property and create customized and customized brand campaigns. For example, a company can take a successful piece of content from any category and spin it up, such as taking a popular game and translating it into a movie or television show. This opens the door to brand integration, product placement, and other forms of native advertising within Tencent’s ecosystem of content.

Beyond China

Overall, Tencent’s applications reached 98% of Chinese netizens, accounting for 55% of the time online. WeChat accounts for 30% of the total online user age in China – the largest single technology platform in China – but it would be a big failure without mentioning the popularity of other Tencent applications.

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