How Tencent became the world’s most valuable social network – with barely any advertising

Salvatore Cantale and Ivy Buche on Tencent advertising strategy

The Chinese technology giant Tencent recently overtook US rival Facebook to become the world’s most valuable social network company, with a market capitalisation of US$540 billion. Yet it is sitting on an advertising goldmine. Just 18% of its total revenue in the 2016 fiscal year came from online advertising. Compare this with Facebook’s model: advertising makes up 98% of its total revenue. So why hasn’t Tencent yet made the most of its advertising potential?

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