Recent Technode article “Is Gaming to be Weixin’s Salvation?” said “game is definitely something worth trying, but it shouldn’t be Weixin’s only bet”. I agree; however on second thought, if not the only bet, will other bets work out well?

For anyone who is interested in this article, please click here. The author’s final conclusion is “For Weixin, game is definitely something worth trying, but it shouldn’t be Weixin’s only bet. However, that’s not to say Tencent won’t find some way to convert users into profits. After all, this is the company that hit the oil with an IM service, succeeding where AOL and Microsoft came up dry”.

Honestly the “oil” with IM service, I consider, is mostly extracted from online gaming.The article actually inspired me to read through Tencent’s third quarter 2012 financials.

Total revenues are RMB11,565.6 million (USD1,823.9 million).

Internet Value added service is RMB8,371.0 million, composed of online game RMB5,972.9 million (accounted for about 52 % of the total revenue) and revenues from its online community and open platforms around RMB2,398.1 million, driven by growth in item-based sales within applications on open platform.

Then the rest of revenue breakdown is mainly:

mobile & telecome value added services:RMB946.2 million

online advertising: RMB1,015.3 million

e-commerce: RMB1,133.9 million

Sure online advertising and e-commerce have witnessed significant growth, but still represented a small proportion of the revenue pie. Personally I perceive Tencent is a late comer in e-commerce and perhaps lack of certain inherited genius in it; hence might take a while to catch up with Tmall and 360buy.  

In the local media, I already saw few commentators said the commercial value of Wechat might be overly stretched. People want to socialize on Wechat and too many commercial/promotion messages might be disturbing.

I often say Wechat is your additional digital marketing channel to strengthen your CRM. Company like already infused with mobile shopping section on its Wechat account. Additionally, the words out there are Tencent will soon introduce payment services to Wechat. If Sina Weibo commerce still fails to roll out its monetized model, will Wechat commerce work?

Perhaps I am a woman without much imagination; as I have pondered for a while but still feel gaming is probably the only way out or the only bet for Wechat, after all it is Tencent’s strong suit.



By Cécilia Wu
English & Chinese Editorial Manager