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, Qzone and WeChat in particular 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 became China’s largest tech company in terms of market capitalization last year, and is currently going back and forth with e-commerce behemoth Alibaba in the race for this title.
As our chart illustrates, there's no need for Tencent to shy away from comparisons with the world's largest social networking company. While Tencent's social networking and messaging services have yet to reach the billion-user mark, its financial results are nearly on par with Facebook's. 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 more than 60 percent since August 2016, Facebook's is up by 35 percent.