Tencent has launched a US-based team for local advertisers targeting outbound Chinese tourists as part of its broader campaign to monetize its hugely popular social networking platforms, Caixin reports. The campaign mirrors similar ones by US web firms like Facebook and Google, which have set up advertising offices in China targeting local Chinese firms trying to reach an international audience. In the case of Tencent, the company is trying to leverage its popular QQ and WeChat social networking platforms that each boast more than 900 million users, most of them in China. In its pitch to US-based advertisers, Tencent pointed out that China’s 700 million mobile internet users spend a significant 55% of their time on the company’s various mobile platforms, which also include its video and news portals. The company’s new sales team will target companies that want to reach the large numbers of Chinese tourists traveling to America, who spent an estimated $35 billion last year alone.
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