China’s Internet: Who Dominates and Why?
China’s internet is somewhat of an unknown realm to many. Due to the restrictions on access and the obvious language barriers, many social media sites and apps that are used internationally, and also those that we use for our regular day-to-day tasks are limited in popularity- or are blocked all together. To fill this void, China’s domestic sites and apps have established a tight grip on the market, which isn’t loosening any time soon. In a very broad sense, the Chinese internet is dominated by three major players: Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu (the BATs).
A common misconception is that these companies are extremely similar. However, the revenue breakdown shown below points out the four key areas that each of these actors differentiate on. Tencent focuses largely on gaming and social media, while Alibaba and Baidu largely rely on E-commerce and online marketing, respectively.