Tencent’s investment engine roars back to life

Tencent is currently focused on corporate service businesses, which has already become the internet giant's third-largest field of investment.

In the third quarter, Tencent has been active in terms of private equity investment.

The internet giant made 30 private equity investments between July to September, more than the 22 investments it made in the second quarter, according to data firm ITJuzi.

This beats rival Alibaba, which only made 16 investments in the third quarter.

The past quarter also marks the first anniversary of the transformation that Tencent started in September last year – to transform its business from consumer-oriented internet to an industrial-facing one.

This has also been the focus of Tencent’s private equity investment, which has been more focused on providing services for corporate clients, or what it calls the “industrial internet”. In the third quarter, 19 out of Tencent's 30 investments bet on corporate services. “The industrial internet will provide technology and opportunities for the real economy,” Pony Ma, chief executive of Tencent said in March.

While shifting its focus into the business-to-business field, Tencent has also faced some challenges in its pillar industries. Newly emerged apps like short-video sites are attracting the kind of traffic volumes that Tencent used to have. According to research firm QuestMobile, the average use of short video apps increased in the first half of this year by 8.6% year-on-year, while usage time for all the other online entertainment declined.

A year probably isn't be enough for Tencent to make a complete shift to the industrial internet. But corporate services already makes up the company's third-largest field of investment. After all, it is still a long road for the internet giant.


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