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How digital business model brings Tencent to success.


Digital business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the physical and digital worlds. To own competitive advantage, digital transformation is mandatory for each business. For examples, electric and autonomous solution are emphasized by automotive, finance is pushed by manufacturing which is composed of IoT (fintech as well). It seems that digital business means a lot to us.

In this post, I will examine Tencent, a China-listed company which made a massive change in quality of life of its users. Tencent has many services related to digital business such as e-commerce, mobile games, social network, payment systems, etc. It uses technology to enrich the standard of Internet users (including all users in the world). Nevertheless, there are three keystones composed Tencent’s business, which is WeChat (a messaging app), the largest mobile gaming franchises globally, as well as an ecosystem built around over billion users to them. They are indivisible to the success of Tencent and by making use of digital business model. These three factors will be discussed one by one in the following.

WeChat, a messaging app connects the users with each other similar to WhatsApp. Nevertheless, it differs with others by linking with many digital contents and daily life services so as to provide the ecosystem. For instance, order foods, pay utility bills, transfer money and pay in stores through the payment function. In other words, it offers a more convenient life experience with just clicking a button.

On the other hand, as the biggest mobile gaming franchise, Tencent took a decidedly different tactic compared to other competitors by investing in and buying up the major game makers. In 2017, the total amount of games revenue was $19.13 billion which mobile games accounted for over half of the total revenue.

These three factors lead Tencent to success by relying on digital business. Nowadays, the digital business model benefits human a lot. From the accessibility of Tencent’s app, the digital business model gives a hand to Tencent in communicating, entertaining, the living way in order to bring Tencent to the top of the industry. Some analysts believed that there are more than two-thirds of the Chinese population using Tencent digital services. They jointly spend more than a billion hours a day on Tencent’s apps. It demonstrated that digital business model easier human’s life, but the applications of Tencent made people rely on them.

According to McKinsey, the business who transforming business to digital business can be favoured of the following factors. First, design and digitize customer journeys. The businesses can design the journeys more easily by doing research on the internet. Second, increase speed and agility in insights. Since the feedback and feelings will be collected due to the big data. Last but not least, develop agility in delivering journey transformations. Without a doubt, the digital business model improves the ability of processing emergencies of corporate.

Tencent has been benefited by those factors indeed. Take its ecosystem as an example, it designs and digitized a variety of applications close to users’ life. It increases the agility in insights by collecting data which applications are the most favourite of consumers. Collect, monitor and analyse become more effortless for informed decision-making with the available data analytical tools. The process of collecting and analysing data has explored new opportunities for digital businesses. It, fundamentally, enhances the business strategies by examining the online habits of customers.

The most important point is that the new competition, new trends and new technology are always there. Hence, demand will grow up more and more. The users probably want it faster and better than before. Keep an eye on the changes of the environment is essential.

An interesting fact found Tencent is targeting the enormous number of Chinese tourists by implementing the WeChat features like payment available overseas, instead of rivalling with the competitors such as Facebook. So, improving customer experiences and engagement leads to customer loyalty. In turn, the customers stick with your company with more deals.

Regarding the external factors, Tencent provides better customers experience and performance with the digital business model. In addition, leveraging programs that enable and enrich employee collaboration from anywhere in terms of internal factors. It decreases the tiresome tasks that hamper productivity by allowing employees to work anywhere instead of traditional interactions such as face-to-face or email. They will become more productive as well. As they acknowledge new proficiency around the modern application facilities. To maximize the benefits of digital business model, all employees should be trained on new business applications. From this case, it illustrated digital business model is not only advantage the opportunities Tencent created, but also maintain the strength of Tencent.


All in all, Tencent climbs to the top of the industry with catching the benefits from digital business model. Tencent cultivates the external and internal factors as its competitive advantages in the ways of communcating, entertaining and training.

This video goes over the origin story of Tencent as a company, as well as its growth and how it became to be positioned to where it is today,

Word Count: 815 words


  1. Gilbert, B. (2019). The biggest game company in the world isn’t Nintendo – it’s a Chinese company that has a piece of everything from ‘Fortnite’ to ‘League of Legends’. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-tencent-games-explainer-2019-8?r=US&IR=T#how-is-tencent-such-a-big-player-in-video-games-2
  2. Handrahan, M. (2019). Mobile strength pushed Tencent past $19bn games revenue in 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-03-22-mobile-strength-pushed-tencent-past-usd19bn-games-revenue-in-2018
  3. Huang, Z. (2017). All the things you can-and can’t-do with your WeChat account in China. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://qz.com/1167024/all-the-things-you-can-and-cant-do-with-your-wechat-account-in-china/
  4. Jiang, S. (2017). Tencent turns to WeChat, games and deals for global strategy. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://www.reuters.com/article/tencent-strategy-idUSL3N1NL2CS
  5. McEleny, C. (2017). Tencent’s not-so-secret success is its lead as the platform for China’s new sharing economy. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from https://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/08/22/tencent-s-not-so-secret-success-its-lead-the-platform-china-s-new-sharing-economy
  6. Solis, B. (2019). The State Of Digital Transformation In China Versus The Rest Of The World. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolis/2019/06/26/the-state-of-digital-transformation-in-china/#293c2c642577
  7. Sweney, M. (2018). Tencent, the $500bn Chinese tech firm you may never have heard of. Retrieved February 20, 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/13/tencent-the-500bn-chinese-tech-firm-you-may-never-have-heard-of
  8. Tencent. (2020). Retrieved February 21, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent#E-commerce

How digital business model brings Tencent to success. 有 “ 2 則迴響 ”

  1. Hi
    I can’t agree with you more. Tencent’s products, especially WeChat, make Chinese residents get a lot of convenience
    Tencent’s success is inevitable, with the release of WeChat, tencent has become more successful. WeChat is a very convenient and very easy to use software, so WeChat penetration rate is very high in China, people can use in store restaurant WeChat payment, online shopping, ticket hotel reservation, pay expenses such as water electricity and don’t have to go to city hall, also can be used as Alipay medical expenses, and some simple financial management.
    It is also effective for office workers to work online and transfer data.
    In addition, the development of game software is also the key to their success. Tencent will quickly respond to the game software on the market and purchase the copyright or develop new products are the cornerstone of their success

  2. There is no doubt that in China, Tencent is synonymous with digital commerce, and it has been particularly profound in recent years. At least half of the Chinese people can’t do without Tencent. Especially the WeChat chat software, which contains almost all the functions a person needs, chat, video, news, shopping and so on. As a practical experiencer, I deeply feel the convenience brought by Tencent, but in your article, the three cornerstones of Tencent are just an improvement or imitation in my opinion. I think Tencent’s success is more than just numbers The impact of business has come more from the support of the Chinese government. It is hoped that Tencent will come out of its own model on the digital road in the future.



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