Having more than doubled its share price this year, Chinese tech giant Tencent became the first Chinese company to join the ranks of the five most valuable companies in the world when it surpassed Facebook in terms of market capitalization on Tuesday. The company behind the hugely popular mobile app WeChat also beat its rival Alibaba in the race to becoming the first Chinese company worth more than $500 billion.
Now ranked fifth behind Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, Tencent comes off an impressive run that saw the company’s market capitalization increase nearly nine-fold over the past five years.
Tencent’s biggest asset without a doubt is WeChat, a mobile app used by 980 million people that is like iMessage, PayPal, Uber and others all rolled into one. The app that is ubiquitous in China was even made responsible for Apple’s problem to gain smartphone market share in the country, as it keeps Chinese customers from locking into Apple’s own ecosystem of apps and services.
It’ll be interesting to observe for how long Tencent can keep this momentum going as it is already valued at more than 50 times its expected profit for this year. Apple in comparison, is valued at roughly 20 times its annual profit.