[iDC] QQ breaks 28.5 Million Peak Concurrent Users

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Thu May 17 09:17:22 EDT 2007

I would be careful with extrapolations - the numbers are likely hyped 
and not purely indicative of a social trend that will continue in the 
same way.

Currently, China is experiencing a Stock Market bubble of extraordinary 
and 'Holding' companies like Tencent are likely attempting to attract as 
much investment as they can during this phase to
- solidify their market position
- make the management rich
by making their growth look as plump and juicy as possible.

The number of registrations is actually not that relevant (and as you 
mention the 2+ ratio when compared to the number of internet users).

Interestingly enough, the registered user vs. active user ration is 
better than Skype's (20:1 for Skype vs 10:1 for QQ). I think this can be 
explained by the fact that Skype faces a lot more competition from 
pretty much any other messenger software out there, VoIP systems, etc. 
etc. - so people will register to try it but don't stick with it. And 
Skypes growth in user-numbers were definitely assisted using marketing 
dollars with their "Free Calls to Canada and the US" offer which was 
available during 2006 (probably to satisfy a growth clause in their eBay 

I think the uptake of QQ is mostly due to the lack of credit-cards in 
China. And if QQ threatens the value of the Yuan, the government will 
likely proceed to pull the plug on Tencent - that's the beauty of the 
'virtual' from a more traditional power-structure point of view: 
shutting down the system is extremely easy (format c: or rm -rf /). OK, 
they'll probably tax it instead to it becomes uncompetitive.

I do agree that virtual money will have a huge impact globally in the 
future, the same as 'plastic money' changed our consumer behavior in the 
'west' over the last decades.  But to put it in perspective, Tencent is 
still a small player compared to MC, Visa and Amex in terms of revenues.

So where is the OpenSource currency?

Julian Kücklich wrote:
> Just an update on the virtual QQ currency which I mentioned in one of 
> my last posts to the list.
> -----------------------
> Tencent Holding's massive, massive QQ messaging + voice + mobile + 
> gaming + everything service continues to drive its revenues in China 
> with the company breaking US$100 Million in revenues for the first 
> quarter of 2007, according to Pacific Epoch.
> What is massive massive?
> 28.5 Million Peak Concurrent Users (PCU)
> 253.7 Million Active Registered Users which grew 9.1 percent in the 
> last quarter.
> To put the total Registered users in context, the US population is 
> just over 301 Million people, so, at this rate, there will be more 
> active registered users of QQ than the whole population of the US in 
> the next 6 months!!!
> Interestingly, this implies that most Chinese QQ users have 2+ 
> accounts as the total Internet population in China was only 137 
> Million in January 2007... or the government is having trouble 
> counting everyone.
> What is most interesting about the report for online gaming is that 
> the largest, and fastest growing portion of Tencent's revenues are 
> coming from value-added services: $64.9 Million an increase of nearly 
> 15 percent from the previous quarter.
> This is where games and the ubiquitous virtual currency Q-coins are, 
> no doubt, raking in the big bucks.
> Tencent Q1 Revenues Hit US$100M
> 700.HK, Internet, SP, Tencent, WVAS
> Posted by: Elias Glenn on May 16, 2007 | 19:05
> Editorial Summary
> Chinese Internet company Tencent (0700.HK) announced US$100 million in 
> first quarter 2007 revenue, up 8.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 19.8 
> year-on-year, on Wednesday afternoon. The company's $37.5 million in 
> first quarter profit was up ten percent from the previous quarter and 
> 16.2 percent year-on-year. Internet value-added services revenues 
> totaled $64.9 million, up 14.9 percent quarter-on-quarter. Mobile 
> value-added service revenues rose 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to 
> $25.4 million. Online advertising revenues, meanwhile, fell 9.1 
> percent quarter-on-quarter to $9.6 million, though this number was up 
> 77.3 percent from the year-ago period. The company's IM platform QQ 
> recorded 28.5 million peak concurrent users in the first quarter, up 
> 16.3 percent quarter-on-quarter. The number of active QQ accounts 
> increased 9.1 percent quarter-on-quarter to 253.7 million.
> from http://tinyurl.com/2hlber

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