New data from online statistics and market research company Statista highlighted the real dominance of Tencent in China’s social media market. It’s a timely reminder that the accepted dominance of global internet companies is not necessarily the same the world over.
Recently Chinese company Tencent Holdings Limited posted an impressive Q1 2018 earnings report, sending its stock price soaring. With US$11.7b published in revenue and net income for the period, the owner of social and gaming sites like QQ, Qzone, and WeChat was not far behind Facebook. Net profit also reached $3.8bn, within striking distance of the US giant. The company’s stock price has also climbed 60 per cent since May 2017.
China’s strict press and social media regulations make it difficult for outside players to compete in the market, making it difficult for the likes of Facebook and Google to get any toehold at all. Despite this bias within the Chinese market, these statistics may still come as a surprise to some, as Tencent appears to be pushing Facebook closely on a global level based mostly on a single market.
This data highlights the fact that key global players do not necessarily dominate the landscape in all territories, and this tells us two things. Firstly, it represents the opportunity for more localised players in regions such as Africa and Asia, where not only Facebook competitors but digital businesses of all sectors and sizes may well be better suited to serve more localised communities. Secondly, it reminds us that businesses using such platforms to get their messages across – be that organically or through paid campaigns – must still take the option of multi-platform messaging seriously and not just rely on the Facebook-Google duopoly.
Facebook remains the dominant player in the social media market and even in-spite of recent press and political stories we would not expect that to change anytime soon. However, there is a whole digital ecosystem out there, especially when considering metrics like ROI, and the law of diminishing returns; it helps to spread communications across a broader landscape.