As an investor, Tencent’s actions can be applied to Buffett’s phrase: “The challenge we face is to generate new ideas quickly with the speed at which we generate cash. "In the past few years, Tencent has invested more than 600 companies across the country and abroad. The industry involves cultural and entertainment, games, transportation, and retail." In 2017, more than 120 companies got Tencent investment, more than the sum of the other two in BAT. What is the standard of Tencent investment?
This article is reprinted from WeChat public number "China Entrepreneur Magazine" (ID: iceo-com-cn). Interview: “Chinese Entrepreneur” reporter Ji Wenting, Jiao Lisha; Wen: “Chinese Entrepreneur” reporter: Ruan Wenting; Editor: Ma Jiying.
Ma Huateng once asked himself, what are the core competencies of Tencent? At a general meeting, he asked 16 executives to answer on the spot. From 21 feedbacks, two answers are delineated internally.
One is traffic. In different stages of the domestic Internet development, Tencent has always been the king of traffic. Now that we have lived in WeChat for 1 billion months and lived QQ for more than 800 million months, no second company has more users than Tencent. This makes Tencent one of the most profitable companies in China.
Another core capability is considered capital, which is said to be the assertion of Tencent’s president Liu Chiping. Shortly after the end of the 3Q World War, the Internet looked at Tencent's open posture, and capital connections were considered the only feasible path. This strategic decision affected Tencent's subsequent expansion. Using capital to release flow resources and create greater value, no other company is more radical and successful than Tencent. If nothing unexpected happens, this success will be continued.
Investment is becoming the most important background of Tencent, and even competing for the future of conventional means. Liu Chiping revealed at the Tencent Investment Annual Meeting in early 2018 that the added value of these companies has exceeded the market value of Tencent itself.
This year, the two sessions answered questions from reporters. Ma Huateng once told “Chinese entrepreneurs” that the basic logic of Tencent’s investment is that, in addition to social and content communication, the others are handed over to partners. Tencent does not seek to control or even require major shareholders, but invests in a small percentage of shares. Tencent has a clear attitude: only seeking symbiosis and not seeking ownership.
A group of figures worth paying attention to is that in the past few years, Tencent has invested more than 600 companies across the country and abroad. The industry involves culture, entertainment, games, transportation, and retail. In 2017, more than 120 companies got Tencent investment, more than the sum of the other two in BAT. Tencent's annual investment amount has not lost the first-line fund's plate, from the seed round to the Pre-IPO or even the listed company.
At the 2017 Global Partners Open Conference, Tencent’s investment partner, Li Zhaohui, stated that Tencent’s overall investment amount exceeds 100 billion, and the number of companies with a volume of US$1 billion is between 50 and 100. He declined to disclose the exact figures. At the same time, four or five companies completed the independent listing, and a large number of companies were on the eve of the IPO.
This is not all. Tencent also invested about twenty or thirty funds as LPs. The names of these funds are not unfamiliar or even famous. They are Sequoia, Yunfeng, CITIC Industry Fund, Jingwei China, Morningside, Innovation Workshop, Gaochun Capital, Jinsha River Venture Capital and Zhongding Venture Capital.
This means that even if a company does not accept Tencent's investment, as long as it becomes the invested company of any of the aforementioned funds, it is indirectly related to Tencent. Several major Internet investments or mergers and acquisitions at the beginning of 2015 have seen Tencent appear. The territory of the Penguin Empire has been difficult to define clearly. Starting a company and selling it to Tencent was considered a good choice.
Several major mergers and recent events such as the US group’s acquisition of Mobai and so on, Tencent are all decisive dominant forces, but Tencent’s thinking and decision-making process has never been clearly disclosed to the outside world. Even within the Tencent Group, this process is rarely known. The mysterious Tencent investment and mergers and acquisitions department and Ma Huateng are on the same floor, and the general staff will not easily step in.
The winner-take-it-all situation will probably cause resentment or rejection by other players. Tencent’s will is widely accepted. People in the investment department stay in the office, and companies will constantly come to visit. When two rival companies in an industry are looking for strategic investments, the tendency to choose Tencent tends to prevail among pre-order investors because it means greater odds and stronger endorsements. One voice even thinks that who Tencent has voted on means that it is the industry leader because "Tencent can influence everything."
Wang Xun, the CEO of the US group, had publicly stated that Tencent was his friend and a very important shareholder. He also commented that Tencent can better align with others regardless of the founder's personality, team temperament or business strategy. In the eyes of Li Lai, the founder of Weilai Automobile, Ma Huateng's “decentralization” and “investment and empowerment methods” are the healthiest.
However, Tencent's investment in this "people" is not a natural presence, nor is it absolutely safe.
Tencent Investment is facing a rival. Alibaba and Tencent confronted the Internet's fundamentals, and the direct conflict between the two sides from the business line has long been extended to high-quality "agents" contention. This situation has frequently occurred in areas such as local life, mobile travel, and used car electricity suppliers. Right now, the hottest of AT's crossfire is offline retail. Station Tencent or Ali, retail companies have never been as confused as this moment.
If you look at the breakdown, the number of projects that Tencent can't invest in and lose is not small. In 2014, Tencent had the opportunity to acquire WhatsApp. Once successful, it will have a positive impact on Tencent’s internationalization. As a result, Ma Huateng delayed negotiations with WhatsApp founders for physical reasons. The company was eventually won by Zuckerberg at a high price.
Tencent Investment has experienced failures in e-commerce, and the ultimate strategy to support Jingdong will not lose the chess game. However, it also tied their hands and feet, and established the "half life to partners" mode. An investor told China Entrepreneur that Tencent would be exposed to huge risks unless the pattern of such e-commerce is clear.
The latest phenomenon observed by the outside world is that Tencent is constantly adjusting its investment strategy. For example, in the education and used car industries, Tencent has taken more place in the form of Guangsa. Buying the track is Sequoia's past strategy. It is now more suitable to describe Tencent.
This also means that self-operated and investment two-wheel drive model is irreversible in Tencent. "If the investment runs faster, the internal team can't do it. Otherwise, public opinion will be under great pressure, and then resources will be tilted to invest, which is also very dangerous." "Investors analyzed the above.
Buffett once said, "The challenge we face is to quickly generate new ideas at the speed with which we generate cash." This sentence applies to Tencent investment body, and then more appropriate.
The latest news about Tencent Investment is that Tencent is operating a new fund internally.
A frequent investor with Tencent explained to “Chinese entrepreneurs” that the original intention of this move was to solve the problem of investment team incentives and the process was complicated. Although the new fund was established, there is no difference from the current investment.
Another investor gave a similar statement. The investment subjects and projects are the same. The fund does not have a new name and only follows the investment. If Tencent Investment is CVC (Corporate Venture Capital) status, investment income will be included in the company's profits, but the fund can be used to reward the investment team. This method of operation is also similar to Sun’s implementation of the Vision Fund, and the LPs of some major organizations are funded to increase the size of disposable funds. Baidu Capital is a 100 billion-scale fund set up by Baidu United Life Insurance.
In fact, Tencent's most widely known is the Tencent win-win industrial fund established on January 24, 2011. At the beginning, the scale was 5 billion yuan, and it was later added to 10 billion yuan. In half a year, it invested nearly 3 billion yuan. Tencent’s annual profit was about 8 billion yuan. Ma Huateng said at the opening meeting of the first Tencent partner that "Nothing is more correct than investing one year's profits in the industry chain." "He also proposed that the first phase of the goal is to "recreate a Tencent". Later, the formulation of a win-win industrial fund was gradually diluted. Tencent's inside and outside talks about capital entities are Tencent's investment and acquisition department.
However, the outside world has kept this time in mind, and therefore believes that Tencent's investment began in 2011, three years behind Alibaba Capital, which was established in 2008. In fact, Tencent’s investment and mergers and acquisitions can be traced back to 2005. After the Tencent Investment and Acquisition Department was established in 2008, the amount and amount of investment have doubled, but many cases have not been disclosed.
In the early days, investment teams were more in assisting in the release of business lines. Xu Liang, who first proposed the QQ show idea at the time, was in the Internet Division. He had worked with the Investment Department on several occasions to invest in social networking and e-commerce. They judge the project from the business level. The investment department is responsible for financial control and is responsible for implementation and post-investment management. At that time, people in the line of business had a higher weight of voice in investment projects.
In 2008, Peng Zhijian joined the Tencent Investment and Acquisition Division from Google China and he pushed public comments. This is his investment project at Google. Tencent's business department has concluded through research that it is better to spend the money than it is to do it. Tencent has traffic and it is possible to migrate the contents of the comment. The matter was shelved. Tencent eventually invested in reviews, only six years later, with a valuation of US$2 billion.
Another indication of the strength of the business line is the almost required access to the board of directors of each company being invested. In the first half of 2011, when Tencent invested in Hu Lai’s game, the two sides had stagnated their stalemate. In the end, Hu Lai’s game accepted the conditions for the head of the game business line to enter the board of directors. The advantages and disadvantages of this arrangement are obvious. The advantage is that the two parties have a smooth connection at the product and team level; the problem is that the two people on the board are direct competitors.
Almost no such phenomenon can now be seen. Tencent was voted by the investment company and Zeng Bin, the founder of Daily Fresh Daily, told China Entrepreneur. The reason behind this is that the people in the business line have KPI requirements in the current period and pay more attention to the synergy with the invested company. The people in the investment department can better understand the needs of Tencent and will make investment plans and arrangements according to the mission. "Indoneition is to win over, and the self-ability of the investment team has strengthened the establishment of the right to speak." "This statement and judgment have been recognized by the former employees of Tencent Investment.
2011 was a watershed for Tencent Investment. In the past year of the 3Q war, Tencent decided to support more partners through capital, which allowed Tencent to make independent investment decisions, accelerate its pace, and have a clear style. Most cases are driven by the investment department and are not affected by the business department.
The most representative is that Tencent as a drum-like layout of e-commerce. Yi Xun, Gaopeng, F Group, Hao Le Buy, Diao Lan Diamond Network, 500 City 3C Appliance Network, etc. were all won. However, compared to the same period as the purchase of E-Commerce track Sequoia, Tencent investment performance is unsatisfactory.
Shen Nampeng discovered and invested in Vipshop and JD in 2010 and 2011, which made Sequoia an absolute harvester in the field of e-commerce. The two companies are currently Tencent's main force in the area of e-commerce against Ali, but the label was tagged with Tencent in early 2018 and 2014.
An important reason for this situation is that the early Tencent like to vote in the industry second child. A former Tencent Investment Department staff explained the reasons behind the "high cost performance, can rely on the strength of Tencent to become the first".
This mentality is most evident in the acquisition of Yi Xun. Yi Xun was the second child in the market at that time and Tencent believed that the delivery flow could pull down the boss. Like the reviews, the ending proved equally unworkable.
From 2012, the investment and acquisition department began to spread the layout of large-scale networks, and discovering and capturing the industry first became the normal state of Tencent investment.
According to statistics from IT Orange, Tencent invested a total of 68 companies in 2014, including a strategic stake in Jingdong and the public. Ten years ago, the number of Tencent invested companies was only 19. In 2015, this number has become 108, and has continued to climb since then. Tencent's concept of connecting everything is becoming reality under the impetus of capital.
Li Zhaohui once combed the fields that Tencent was interested in, and focused on deploying a consumer internet, such as content, games, and entertainment. Followed by retail, education and medical care. In Tencent's perspective, there is nothing more important than retail and bigger. The third segment where capital rushed is cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence and new materials. In addition, corporate services are areas Tencent has always wanted to deepen.
Tencent's investment and acquisition team also gradually stabilized. At the beginning of Tencent's investment and acquisition department, Peng Zhijian served as the responsible person. He was considered to help Tencent establish a M&A team from scratch and formed a unique culture. After that, Xu Liang and Li Zhaohui and Lin Haifeng were the three deputy general managers, and Zhan Weixi was responsible for the post-investment. In 2015, after Peng Zhijian and Xu Liang left to establish Yuansheng Capital, Li Zhaohui and Lin Haifeng were both partners of Tencent Investment. However, investment decisions have always been made by Liu Chiping and even Ma Huateng.
In 2012, Tencent's investment attracted graduates for the first time. One interview question was based on some financial data, indicating which industry or even which company it belongs to. In that year, Tencent Group recruited a total of 5,000 graduates. Fortunate enough to have dinner with Liu Chiping and vice presidents of business lines, only four students who received an offer from the investment department. There is only one core meaning and they are enthusiastically invited to join Tencent Investment.
It sounds a bit unthinkable, but Tencent Investment has a limited appeal and appeal. Several top students voted with their feet. Three went to Goldman Sachs, Temasek Holdings and Deutsche Bank. Only one person chose to stay.
In sharp contrast to this, Tencent Investment's team turnover rate is not high. A person close to Tencent’s investment revealed that “everyone in Tencent’s investment department has the offer of other funds in their hands, but it will not go easily.” General VC is not interesting. Tencent platform is not good, there is no power to leave. ”
Combining strategy and financial investment
Peng Zhijian was responsible for Tencent's investment in the mergers and acquisitions department. The only external interview was in 2013 when he made clear that Tencent Investment’s core appeal was to achieve strategic value. Further explanation is that we must achieve the effect of complementary advantages and forward-looking layouts, but most of the cases are of equal strategic value and financial value.
In February of this year, he took the same attitude as the founding partner of Yuansheng Capital in accepting the interview with “Chinese Entrepreneur”. “The company with financial value must be very big, and the volume is big enough. Strategic value. Therefore, it is not wrong for us to invest in large companies. ”
A Tencent investment employee further added that when a company grows to a scale of 1 billion to 3 billion US dollars, it will inevitably intersect with Tencent. From this perspective, it would be more beneficial if Tencent could generate capital connections with a company earlier. Historical data shows that Tencent's companies with different lifecycles have almost reached 360-degree no-death coverage, from seed rotations to listed companies, where there is no Tencent red flag.
If we consider from the three dimensions of strategic appeal, business-driven and financial investment, the above-mentioned person's analysis is that Tencent’s investment in those companies with earlier stages and less imagination is generally due to business synergies, but in the long run, It may turn into a strategic investment.
Investing in JD.com and commenting on such companies will inevitably have strong strategic appeals, either seizing the future high ground or building a defense line. “Otherwise, using so many resources of the company is not reasonable. For Tencent, all resources are costly, and investment companies or internal projects will be measured by top management. ”
The proportion of pure financial investment in Tencent has gradually expanded. The characteristics of these projects are obvious enough: in the early stage of development, the short-term can not foresee the possibility of linkage with the business, but also no strategic value. "The only motivation is that the investment team expects to gain better reputation. ”
The former Tencent investment insider refused to put a specific investment case number in the seat, the outside world is usually not clear, he said that Tencent investment within the positioning of each project can be clearly distinguished.
The strategic value of the first investment concept means Tencent can not be absent at any time. More than one Tencent insider expressed this view. "The wrong case is not that big. The key is not to miss the opportunity." ”
Tencent Investment has indeed experienced failures. The most typical case is a good music purchase. Tencent entered the company in C-Channel. At the time of the e-commerce's most beautiful scenery, the founders Lu Ming and Li Shubin were overwhelmed by the investors who were chasing the door. Li Shubin once admitted that initially he agreed to eat with Peng Zhijian just out of courtesy and not Really want to take Tencent's money. However, they later met Ma Huateng in Shenzhen and finalized the investment. In the end, this company failed.
Tencent’s internal reorganization later admitted that during the DD (due diligence) stage, they realized that shoe purchase frequency was low, return rates were high, upstream suppliers were concentrating, and the pressure on the goods was serious. However, in the special stage where vertical electricity providers blossomed, Tencent Can not be in this category of shoes card position. "To avoid failures is less risky, but this does not meet the strategy of Tencent." "Another former Tencent investment employee said.
Loss can not be accepted. In the early years, Tencent had the opportunity to invest in today’s headlines, but at the time they had judged that the threshold for information distribution was too low. Tencent could do it on its own, and Sina’s Baidu had a chance, so no shot was made.
The rhythm of Tencent’s investment at that time was that, on average, it would be a week to decide whether or not to invest in a company. Later, it would even be twice a week. The degree to which each case is examined varies, and it is not impossible for a meal to miss a unicorn. It is said that the internal reflection of Tencent later was to lower the standard. "It's better to vote for 100 Zhang Yiming and you can't lose one." ”
Later, when Didi and Cheng Wei entered Tencent's line of sight, Peng Zhijian snapped on the spot and strongly demanded a higher than that round valuation of US$20 million. Afterwards, it was proved that this decision was extremely accurate for Tencent.
According to Yin Sheng, an internet observer, “What Tencent needs is a kind of strategic certainty and no harm to its status in the industry. It does not care about the gains and losses of one city and one place. For every 1% increase in the certainty of the company's strategy, the value it brings will far exceed the return on investment. ”
However, from the recent market feedback, Tencent’s investment seems to have a higher accuracy than other companies’ war games. It may even be earlier than VC’s discovery of high-quality companies. The fundamental reason is that WeChat exists. The consensus in the industry is that WeChat plays a key role in Tencent’s strategic focus in recent years, giving it emboldenedness and giving it a capability.
Tencent has never lacked traffic, but when e-commerce was deployed in 2012, they were clearly aware that e-commerce traffic brought by QQ was limited. However, in this battle over offline retail, the traffic value of WeChat was quickly verified and amplified by such cooperative companies as Carrefour and Bubco.
More than one person told Zeng Bin that the amount of transactions generated by WeChat has reached 1 trillion yuan last year. To be precise, it is to find orders for goods in WeChat. Part of the payment will jump out, but the trend is decreasing. Therefore, Zeng Bin believes that Xu Xin mentioned that "WeChat Payment is defeating Alipay" is not alarmist. According to his knowledge, WeChat generates 1 trillion transactions, of which 300 billion are jumps to Taobao. "Ali knows best where these traffic comes from."
Tencent's mastery of massive data allows them to find out more quickly that the most active and fastest-growing companies are trading.
Daily Excellent Fresh is still only a public number and was discovered by Tencent. This made the founders Xu Zheng and Zeng Bin unexpected. Their back-end transactions and payment data are the best DDs for Tencent investment, and they do not need to verify the true and false. The other party only asked one, "You are willing to accept Tencent's investment?" ”
The investment transfer is exactly the same. CEO Huang Wei told “Chinese Entrepreneurs” that Tencent expressed their willingness to invest after discovering their health growth figures. "Idle" trading is a trillion-scale market in China, Tencent can see all kinds of opportunities, which shows that they are very keen. "Not to mention, Facebook is doing the same thing.
For Tencent, this is an undisputed success. But for the investment team members, what dimensions should be used to evaluate their investment performance? Especially those projects that are neither business-driven nor strategic, and that are more based on financial returns.
"This is a good question, but it's hard for me to answer. "One Tencent investment leaver said.
He further explained that investment can't really be measured by the KPI, the quantity can't explain the problem, and the investment can see the effect after five years. Tencent needs to balance strategic and financial values. This standard is really not quantifiable, and it is certainly not quantitative. "This is a challenge facing all CVCs."
The motivation of the company’s war effort on the team is a common problem in the industry. “Performance should be in line with other business departments, can not give special rewards, otherwise the business line will think that investment is using their resources to do things and not cooperate. "An investor analyzed. At Tencent, the investment department still attaches great importance to maintaining a good relationship with the business line.
Tencent Investment in the eyes of the company
On March 1, Yang Haoyong announced that the car had completed a round of financing of $818 million in Series C and was led by Tencent. Although this figure has set the largest single financing amount in the field of automotive service e-commerce, the outside world is more concerned about the investment motive behind Tencent. Because of this, several major players in the used car field, such as melon seeds, gifted letters, easy cars, cars for everyone, and car racing, have all received Tencent funding at different stages.
The next day, a reporter from “Chinese Entrepreneur” saw Li Jian, the founder of Renren Cars. He said that the news that Tencent had invested in seeds earlier was not a sudden or unexpected one. "Declared that Tencent is very much convinced that the used car this big track, is doing the layout of the core players in the entire industry chain." ”
In theory, the company's money from BAT or other industrial capital means that this is a strategic choice. Especially for mobile warships, local hot spots such as the living area, the phenomenon of standing team is common, and the giants also have a certain degree of exclusion. However, Tencent bought the track more and more often. In addition to used cars, there are also areas such as online education and live games.
On the day of financing, Yang Haoyong made a noise. "At this stage, I don't have too much demand for Tencent's strategic resources, and I treat Tencent as a friendly, long-term financial investor." ”
Li Jian also defined Tencent as a high-quality financial investor. However, he emphasized that Dripping is a superb fight for everyone, on the grounds that DDT is most closely matched with the value of used cars. On April 26th, in the new round of $300 million in financing for everyone, Tencent and Didi also appeared.
According to him, Tencent's brand endorsement of the early development of Renren vehicles is even more valuable. "Lei Jun and Tencent Investment help everyone car", this sentence hangs on the home page of the company website for a long time. The second-hand car industry lacks trust. This brand endorsement is very significant for a company's footing.
If seeking long-term development, Li Jian believes that more depends on the team itself. He further stated that Tencent's support of his competitors did not cause too much trouble for him. Even he asked in reverse: "Which companies in the used car sector are using Tencent resources very well?" If it is difficult to answer, it does not matter if this issue is to be addressed. "Regarding the flow of resources that entrepreneurs generally care about, Li Jian admits that there are attempts, but thinks that more is an indirect help."
The empowerment of key abilities, not the nanny, is the position Zeng Bin has given to Tencent. "Tencent's resources are also limited. It has to judge who is the most suitable, but also to determine which issues they have to solve. You should not hope that Tencent will help you solve all the problems. ”
Many companies expect to receive flow support when they accept Tencent investment. Zeng Bin said that Tencent is more willing to share how to obtain effective traffic.
When the daily excellent fresh push speed service, the key technical difficulties are located on the map. Other map products are limited in the number of visits per day, and a great deal of interface work is also needed. Tencent has appointed a group of more than a dozen people to provide support 24 hours until it reaches the top of the line. The WeChat group formed at that time was still active.
One investor analyzed that after-finance strategy became the investment path of Tencent. Enterprises must first prove their strengths and finally get more support. Especially when the industry structure is not very clear, it can better cover high-quality companies and avoid resource consumption.
From the perspective of the company, Tencent does not seek control or mergers and acquisitions. If it does well, it will also get blessings, and it will benefit follow-up financing and the introduction of talents. Therefore, it does not exclude it. Entrepreneurs also have a general mentality. If a competitor prioritizes Tencent’s money, it will become passive. Even some companies are willing to give them board seats when Tencent has a small share of the stock.
Tencent is cautious about the proportion of shares held in investment projects and will usually be limited to less than 30%. The purpose is to eliminate concerns that entrepreneurs will lose control of the company. Non-core businesses like e-commerce, retail, and local life all follow such investment logic. Tencent is confident that its influence will be exerted with a shareholding ratio of less than 30%. According to a founder of a cross-border e-commerce company, Tencent did not differ from ordinary VCs when they signed investment terms and did not require companies to give up more premiums.
"Tencent money is more than anti-dilution." "Investors explained the above.
But if it comes to the main business such as games, Tencent generally requires a controlling or acquisition. In 2008, Tencent obtained a 22.34% stake in Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, in an investment form. After three years, Tencent increased its capital and held 92.78% of the shares. At the end of 2015, Tencent announced 100% acquisition of Riot Games. Such investment trajectory is not uncommon in the game field. In 2016, Tencent also spent US$8.6 billion to buy Supercell, a Finnish mobile game developer, from Softbank, the largest M&A in Tencent’s history.
Shen Nanpeng once asked Liu Chiping why Tencent can invest so many high-quality companies and it is good to get along with these companies. The president of Tencent, who came from Goldman Sachs, responded, "The culture of these companies invested by Tencent is very close to that of Tencent. This reason makes these companies like Tencent because Tencent allows them to maintain their cultural atmosphere. ”
To some extent, this is a fact. BBK Group Chairman Wang Cui repeatedly explained in public that the reason why he chose Tencent as a strategic investor was because Tencent did not interfere with the company's business and it was not strong. "It is good at guiding, not compelling." This is Zeng Bin's feelings for Tencent.
However, the relationship between Tencent and the company with such a volume is more complicated and delicate. In the early days, Tencent’s help to Didi was obvious to all. After WeChat access, daily orders have been quickly increased from hundreds of thousands to several million. A CEO of the Internet Vehicle Company commented that this is a substantial improvement for Didi. Tencent has sent teams of dozens of people to support the technology bottleneck. Ma Huateng personally made a speech at the key moment.
The situation changed when Tencent completed its support for Didi as a strategic investor. Drops of tens of millions of orders daily pushed up WeChat payment transaction data. "Tencent has fulfilled its shareholders' obligations and obtained its due rights. ” The above CEO said.
However, with the other company Tencent invested in the US Mission to travel, the game becomes complicated. In the case of the U.S. delegation’s acquisition of Mobai recently, Li Zhaohui explicitly rejected Tencent’s investment intention on behalf of Tencent, and supported the U.S. delegation’s acquisition plan.
According to informed sources, at the beginning Tencent had reservations on the US group's taxi business. Mobile travel is rather special. The fierce clash between Dripping and the U.S. group is a kind of internal friction for Tencent. "The US team is important enough for Tencent. After all, it brings the strongest competition to Ali, so Tencent will certainly help the US group.
This indirectly affected the mentality of the drip. The person familiar with the matter said, "Cheng Wei has been seeking a balance between Tencent and Ali, playing cards on both sides. ”
On February 1, Tencent went online and "Leschi" was an interest-based information subscription and push APP. However, soon a company called "" immediately "" the company's team jumped out, saying "" Lizhi "and immediately almost the same, Tencent's application treasure has contact with them on the grounds of cooperation." Tencent’s alleged plagiarism was immediately overwhelming, and it was significant that in 2016, it immediately accepted Tencent’s investment during Round B financing.
That night, "Lee Zhi" was offline. Immediately, CEO Ye Xidong announced his position in the circle of friends, and “Tencent is our shareholder, and it has been a great help to us. Tencent's investment department, business department and legal department are all very friendly and professional. ” Ma Huateng message, "thank you." ”
Similar things, CEO Huang Wei also experienced. So far only one round of financing has been transferred, and investors are Tencent. Last year, a second-hand trading platform called "Leisure" was launched and also from Tencent. However, it is said that there was no displeasure between the two sides, and one day, the hustle and bustle was silent and underground. "Tencent will not push or fight, it just doesn't control it." Huang Wei told China Entrepreneur.
Jingdong, which belongs to the Tencent camp, also launched its second-hand transaction business at the end of 2017. Huang Wei believes that "great strategic direction, Tencent has already transferred the second-hand transaction business, invested real money and resources. However, it cannot be said that there is no competition at all. ”
Regarding this, Li Chaohui has clearly stated Tencent's attitude to the outside world. The investment company's products compete with Tencent and there are competitions among investment companies. This is an inevitable manifestation of a healthy ecology.
According to Internet watcher Keso and Tencent’s internal feedback after several exchanges, Tencent now clearly only do content and connections. In the past, product managers had innovative ideas that were not stopped, but now it is not, because doing so may harm the interests of partners, so do less. At least Tencent will not come up with resources to push.
However, in the view of one investor, the two-wheel drive of self-operation and investment is always an unavoidable contradiction of Tencent. "If an investment project runs quickly, it will have an impact on the inside. After all, resources are limited, and perhaps an internal effort can be made." Unless you choose to give up some areas, only invest. But the investment-led model is not entirely without danger. ”
Cases of internal and external conflicts have shown that Tencent is almost fulfilling the promise of "half-time commitments to partners" and that they do not go overboard. Therefore, the way of capital connection can make Tencent always invincible?
Before answering this question, review the past. Yahoo, the originator of the Internet portal, fell into an irreversible decline a few years ago. The outside world was attacked by super giants such as Google and Facebook. The founder of the company, Yang Zhiyuan, returned with no success. At the time, Yahoo held a 39% stake in Alibaba.com and was the largest shareholder of the largest e-commerce platform company in China. At the end of 2010, it was roughly estimated that Yahoo's market value was equivalent to the value of its equity held by Alibaba.com. In other words, if you remove Ali's shares, Yahoo is worthless.
This contrast makes Yin Sheng think, Yahoo's value to the development of Internet companies strategy may perhaps be re-recognized. When the company develops to a certain scale, the investment department is the standard. In this regard, Yahoo is an example. When an internet company fell, an investment company was reborn.
The problem is that investment in Ali has slowed Yahoo's fall, but it has not changed the end result. "Because it only cast one Alibaba, there is a component of luck." And there is no real impact on Ali itself. Zeng Bin is analyzing.
Tencent Otherwise, investment has become the most important strategy and capability of this largest Internet company in China. The integration and influence of ecology cannot be ignored. The past few major mergers and acquisitions are the best evidence. Tencent itself also has a sense of the body, Li Zhaohui feedback, "based on the business platform for capital connections, not only Tencent harvested friends, but also let ourselves in the social, payment, cloud and other fields become more powerful. ”
This is also the path taken by the US Internet giants Google and Facebook. By means of investment or mergers and acquisitions, make sure you don't lose your future.
The Economist once analyzed the value of the artificial intelligence company DeepMind for Google. In 2014, Google bought the company for 660 million US dollars, but it has a strategic advantage in the global technology company AI battle, not only absorbing enough. The AI talents, AlphaGo continuously defeated the World Go Championship to make Google famous in AI. If Google can take the lead in launching mature commercial products in the field of artificial intelligence, the decline in traditional advertising will not affect its future.
What Tencent needs to do is to ensure that potential disruptive opportunities arise in their own vision as much as possible and that they are discovered as soon as possible, and that they can quickly become bigger by associating themselves with investments. In this way, it is possible to ensure the safety of the Internet in the process of continuous upgrading of the Internet.
Now that venture capital circles are popular in a small area, investment may have the opportunity to allow Tencent to become Berkshire · Hathaway in the domestic new economy or the Internet. Yes, it is the company that Buffett founded and has a history of more than 60 years that has a profound impact on the global business world.
An entrepreneur who holds this view believes that if investment is used as a means of business support, Tencent has already exceeded the scope of strategic capital allocation. Investment has become one of the main businesses of Tencent, generating a lot of revenue. More importantly, it can output the capabilities of investment companies with low-cost capital advantages, information advantages supported by massive data, and talent advantages, but at the same time, it does not need to do special fine-grained operations. If the fund is raised again in the future, the scope of influence will be even greater.
In the next five years or more, there is no second Chinese Internet company that has the possibility except Tencent.