Ten­cent step­ping fur­ther into e-fi­nance

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By MENGJING

Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd has launched se­cu­ri­ties and wealth man­age­ment ser­vices on its live chat tool QQ, div­ing fur­ther into In­ter­net fi­nance.

The Shenzh e n - b a s e d com­pany teamed up with five se­cu­ri­ties firms on Wed­nes­day to of­fer one-stop fi­nan­cial ser­vices on­line, in­clud­ing set­ting up se­cu­ri­ties ac­counts, cus­tomer ser­vices and stock ex­change ser­vices, to its vast base of QQ users.

The five com­pa­nies (Zhong­shan Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd, Tongxin Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd, China Dragon Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd, Chi­nalion Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd and Guangzhou Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd) are the first group of se­cu­ri­ties firms to set up on­line fi­nance businesses on QQ.

The tool is ex­pected to team up with more se­cu­ri­ties com­pa­nies to of­fer sim­i­lar ser­vices in the fu­ture.

Tan Yi, deputy man­ager of Ten­cent’s so­cial net­work­ing group, said that the com­pany has a vast num­ber of users. The top pri­or­ity for Ten­cent, which has built its busi­ness em­pire on all kinds of so­cial tools, such as QQ and WeChat, is to of­fer more and bet­ter ser­vices to its users.

“On the one hand, we need to iden­tify the ser­vices that can meet the de­mand of our in­di­vid­ual users. On the other hand, we need to help en­ter­prises con­nect with end-users, match­ing their ser­vices with our users,” he told a news con­fer­ence in Shen­zhen on Wed­nes­day.

On the same day, Shen­zhen King­dom Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, a fi­nan­cial soft­ware and sys­tem in­te­gra­tion pro­ducer, an­nounced a part­ner­ship with Ten­cent cov­er­ing the mar­ket­ing and sales of QQ.

King­dom Tech­nol­ogy will help QQ build the fi­nan­cial ser­vice plat­form to di­rectly link more se­cu­ri­ties com­pa­nies with QQ users.

The move is seen as Ten­cent’s lat­est at­tempt to push fur­ther into China’s emerg­ing In­ter­net fi­nance sec­tor. Ten­cent’s ri­val Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd was a pioneer in this sec­tor in China by launch­ing Yu’ebao last sum­mer.

Yu’ebao, de­signed to make it easy for Alibaba’s Ali­pay users to in­vest their idle cash and get a higher in­ter­est rate than typ­i­cal bank sav­ings de­posits, has gained great pop­u­lar­ity in China, es­pe­cially among young people.

Many In­ter­net com­pa­nies have fol­lowed Yu’ebao’s lead by launch­ing wealth man­age­ment ser­vices.

“Through team­ing up with tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions provider King­dom, Ten­cent cer­tainly has se­ri­ous plans about In­ter­net fi­nance,” said Qian Haili, an In­ter­net fi­nance an­a­lyst with the China E-Com­merce Re­search Cen­ter.

She said that Ten­cent’s agree­ment with Shen­zhen King­dom can be seen as a coun­ter­at­tack against Alibaba, whose founder Jack Ma in April an­nounced a plan to pay 3.3 bil­lion yuan ($531.78 mil­lion) to take a con­trol­ling stake in fi­nan­cial soft­ware firm Hund­sun Tech­nolo­gies Inc.

“Both of these two com­pa­nies have great am­bi­tions in In­ter­net fi­nance. And QQ, which has a monthly ac­tive user pop­u­la­tion of more than 800 mil­lion, can serve as a great base to pro­mote In­ter­net fi­nance,’’ said Qian.

“How­ever, since people are used to hav­ing fun on QQ by chat­ting with their friends, many may find it dif­fi­cult to treat it as a se­ri­ous plat­form for wealth man­age­ment,” she said.

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