Tencent is the first Asian company ever to cross a $500B valuation, despite being relatively unknown in the Western hemisphere.
But, a little nudge was all it took: yesterday their shares jumped 4.1% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, bumping their valuation to about $510B and into the circles of tech royalty.
Movin’ on up
Tencent went public back in 2004, but remained quiet for years with fairly tepid stock, until around 2011 when they developed mobile chat app WeChat.
Initially created to rival Facebook-owned WhatsApp, WeChat is now a jack-of-all-trades, allowing their 980m monthly Chinese users (just behind Facebook’s 1.2m global users) to read the news, hail a cab, and make online payments in-app.
And they’ve had a breakout year: Tencent’s stock’s skyrocketed 120% since the start of 2017, and they recently reported quarterly revenues of $9.8B — up 61% from 2016, due in large part to their smash hit, mobile game Honour of Kings.
Spearheading a new age
While the 500 club’s fearless market cap leader, Apple (valued at $872B), cemented its place back in 2012, Tencent joins a pretty legendary class of 2017 inductees: Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, and Microsoft all passed the $500B mark this year.
Meanwhile, China’s Alibaba Group is knocking on the door with a market cap just under $480B — just trying to figure out the club’s secret handshake.