Due to the fact that social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are inaccessible in China, there exists a whole ecosystem of social networking and messaging platforms that are immensely popular in and around China but hardly known anywhere else in the world.
Platforms such as QQ, WeChat or Qzone have hundreds of millions of users and, just as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, they’re all owned by the same company. Their parent company Tencent recently became China’s largest tech company, after surpassing its rival Alibaba in terms of market capitalization this week.
As our chart illustrates, there’s no need for Tencent to fear the comparison to Facebook. While its social networking / messaging services have yet to reach the billion-user mark, its financial results are roughly on par with those of the world’s largest social networking company. In fact, until as recently as 2015, Tencent was more profitable than Facebook, and has been for many years prior. From an investing standpoint, both companies have been doing great over the past 12 months: Tencent's stock price soared 45 percent since August 2015, Facebook's is up by 30 percent.
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