China isn’t known as a hotbed of soccer super fans. But Chinese internet giant Tencent is betting that people nonetheless want to keep up-to-speed on the World Cup. So it’s planning a continuous blast of live match broadcasts; news and commentary; scores via app and instant messenger; social games; and interactive commentary on WeChat, the company’s hot social app.
To put things in perspective, Tencent already has more than 120 journalists, editors and photographers on the ground in Brazil. And the company has lined up sponsors including Nike, Toyota, Budweiser, Head & Shoulders and local beer brand Tsingtao, said Sophia Ong, Tencent’s GM for planning and implementation, in an interview.
China’s Tencent is the world’s fourth-largest internet company by market capitalization, after Google, Facebook and Amazon. Looking at its sweeping plans for the World Cup is a good way to get a feel for its ambitions and how varied its offerings are. It has a Hulu-like video service, products that resemble Instagram and Vine, instant messaging, and WeChat, a fast-growing all-in-one mobile app that has 355 million monthly active users. It plans to use all of those to reach Chinese users during the June 12-July 13 event.
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