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WeChat's Overseas Plan
Cover Stories Series 2013> WeChat's Overseas Plan
UPDATED: August 6, 2013
Quotes from Pony Ma Huateng
Edited by Li Fangfang

"Successful or not, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tencent."

"The United States is the most difficult market to tap in our global campaign."

"China's Internet companies lag far behind their globally successful peers and have never been a global success. But now mobile phone and Internet use is developing faster in Asia than in the West. This has given China's Internet companies a precious opportunity to surpass Western ones."

"The booming mobile Internet industry creates a gold opportunity for Asian countries to shine. For the first time, we are at the same starting point and even take a minor leading position over some of the American giants such as Facebook. It remains a challenge for Internet companies to cope with PC clients while shifting to the mobile arena.

I found that the biggest opportunity came from industries crossing over. For instance, I was in communications some 20 years ago, and quite familiar with the Internet at the same time. So we did something that combined both areas. That was why instant messaging and online communities were Tencent's trump cards in the early years.

To be honest, we had setbacks as well, such as in e-commerce and the search engine market. I think crossover still works today. Some of the popular products in the United States feature communications. Internet companies in Asia, however, are moving beyond communications--they make communications, social networks and platforms into one. Tencent's WeChat, which has more than 300 million users, is the first of its kind in the world. I personally have 50 percent confidence in its globalization.

Internet companies, big or small, have to be aware of the industry's transformation and cautious about every step in the wake of the mobile Internet era. We are lucky that we experienced a smooth shift from traditional Internet to the mobile one, and we still have space for improvement. We should create a win-win solution from multiple aspects involving developers, platforms, and partnerships.

The industry is on the rise and its beauty lies in its uncertainty, but we are passionate and interested in exploring the unknown."

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