New rules for instant messaging

by Verena Nowotny

Bad news for Tencent, with about 400 million monthly users China's Social Media giant: the government imposed new rules that aim at all instant messaging services, however, given Tencent's WeChat popularity it will hurt Tencent the most. The new regulation aims at curbing anonymous postings as well as unapproved political comments. Tencent remains rather relaxed in its official statement according to a report in the New York Times, although they are not quite sure how to enforce the new rules.

BAT(man): The Chinese Internet Giants

by Verena Nowotny

Whereas everybody is looking at the Western Internet giants Amazon, Facebook and Google, their Chinese counterparts have established them as the predominant forces in that area. Baidu, the largest search engine in China, had a market share of 72 percent in 2013. Alibaba, the largest e-commerce provider in China, differs from Amazon as it only leases space to vendors without getting involved in sales, shipping, or after-sales support. Alibaba controls 80 percent of China's online retail market, equivalent to 5 percent of the country's total retail sales. Tencent, China's social media giant founded in 1998, has around 800 million users in China. Together, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are referred to as the BAT.

These and other interesting information about China's expanding cyberspace - in the West mainly reduced to hacking activities - can be learned from China expert Francois Godement in his recent briefing. An hour well spent.