Even with years of evolution,
Last month I attended a conference in Shenzhen (in Southern part of
I was very impressed with what I heard from both my private conversation with him and also his open discussion with the floor audiences (he was one of the event speakers) because:
- I've never seen a PRC internet company with such a position (Patent Manager), there are many of them in companies like Huawei or ZTE, but not with an internet media company like Tencent. This shows how Tencent is above par in the aspect of using patent to protect its business edge. As a matter of fact, Tencent is already using its patent muscle to fend off competitors in
. In a very recent case (Tencent vs. Beijing PICA Co Ltd) in which Tencent sued PICA for providing its customers with Tencent IM services by accessing Tencent's server without its authorization, the court ruled that PICA has infringed Tencent’s IP rights and awarded Tencent 2M Yuan compensation. Though 2M Yuan (~US$250K) is not that much, this nevertheless has sent a very strong message to all potential infringers who compete with Tencent. China
- He told us inside Tencent, they have a very strong sense of patent in mind when they design new services, in such a competitive internet environment in PRC, it's a very good attempt to protect its ideas by patent.
- Besides, I can sense (instead of what he told me) that the Tencent gentleman I met is very proud of and happy working for Tencent. Having a team of happy employee is nowadays a critical success factor for technology companies which demand innovation and commitment.
- I also learnt that Tencent has a “QQ Lab” initiative, “QQ” is the service brand name for Tencent’s IM service in
. Its QQ Lab is a similar approach to Google Lab in which new services are nurtured. If you ask me to pick a Chinese internet stock with potential as good as Google, I definitely will pick Tencent rather than the direct Chinese search engine comparable Baidu (BIDU). I see a lot of continuous innovations coming from Tencent but I don’t see the same from BIDU. China
Apart from that, recently a friend of mine showed me a Tencent recruitment advertisement for its openings in advertising sales positions. At first glance this seems to be a trivial daily matter. However, the advertisement was posted in Media which is a very popular newspaper for advertising industry in Asia. This again tells me they do have someone who really knows the field. At least I've not seen Yahoo Hong Kong doing the same thing, I only see Yahoo HK’s recruiting advertisement appearing in generic newspaper. Sometimes trivial matters do tell something important.
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