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Inside Tencent: the Chinese tech giant that's trying to go global

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Tencent CEO Pony Ma at a conference in 2011
Tencent CEO Pony Ma at a conference in 2011
TechCrunch / Flickr

The Chinese web giant Tencent is one of the biggest companies in tech thanks to its popular messaging and gaming services, and yet you'd hardly know it outside of China. But that may not be for long: Tencent recently began expanding into new countries, and it's even made some investments in American companies to start making a dent in the US. In an in-depth profile of Tencent and its billionaire CEO, Fast Company explains how it's attempting to go global and how cultural differences — such as a distaste for copying — as well as ties to China's government could stand in its way. "Will Tencent join the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter?" one startup founder backed by Tencent reportedly tells Fast Co. "They already are in that league. The rest of the world just doesn't know it."