Tencent launches video streaming in Thailand, eyes SE Asia expansion

Credit: REUTERS/Aly Song

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd launched its first overseas video streaming service in Thailand on Friday, as it ramps up its presence outside China.

By Patpicha Tanakasempipat

BANGKOK, June 14 (Reuters) - Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd 0700.HK launched its first overseas video streaming service in Thailand on Friday, as it ramps up its presence outside China.

Tencent is diversifying from its core Chinese gaming business, which has been beset by regulatory problems, pushing revenue growth to its slowest-ever in the first quarter.

Tencent's existing Thai user base made the country a good first target for its push into Southeast Asia, said Jeff Han, Senior Vice President of Tencent Penguin Pictures, which produces original content for the streaming business.

"This is the market we need to first enter to try to see whether an overseas launch could be a success for us, so we can continue the challenge," Han told reporters in a group interview in Bangkok.

"We have our priority markets... the Chinese-speaking markets, which will be more receptive to our offerings," he said.

In Thailand, Tencent Video will be called WeTV and feature original Chinese content from Tencent Penguin Pictures with Thai dubbing, and content created with local partners, Han said.

He declined to comment how much the company was investing overseas.

WeTV adds to Tencent's music streaming service JOOX and the mobile version of PUBG games in Thailand.

Tencent's video streaming subscriptions increased 43% in the first quarter of 2019 on an annual basis, contributing to a growth in digital content revenue, according to its latest results.

Tencent Video in China claims over 89 million subscribers and more than 200 million daily active users.

(Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

((Patpicha.Tanakasempipat@thomsonreuters.com; +6620802303 / or mobile +66818317884; Reuters Messaging: patpicha.tanakasempipat.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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