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Analyse Asia

Jun 7, 2019

In episode 301, Matthew Brennan from China Channel joined us in a conversation to discuss Tencent's Q1 2019 earnings and how the latest version of Wechat app is now evolving with the consumers and enterprise.  We discuss the recent Q1 earnings of Tencent and how the company is moving ahead with the obstacle of getting games approved in China. Then we dive deep into Wechat 7.0, the super app's latest iteration, the new features and why the Wechat enterprise is not given a serious look from observers outside China.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Matthew Brennan, Co-founder of China Channel and host of China Tech Talk podcast (, @mbrennanchina , Linkedin, Wechat:Yowdy-CQ) [0:23]
    • Since our last conversation, what have you been up to? [0:35]
    • You have just been to a Tencent conference (Thursday May 23) in Kunming, what are the interesting things that have popped up there? [1:07]
    • Who is the intended audience for this conference which you are attending? [2:50]
    • Just a quick one: What are your thoughts on Google and ARM cutting access to Huawei? What is the long term implications given that Huawei is now banned in the US? [5:58]
    • How long does it take for Huawei to start having problems in China with the current ban? Matthew also examined the impact on Huawei in Europe. [8:33]
  • Tencent Q1 2019 Earnings and Wechat 7.0 Release [10:44]
    • Tencent has recently released their Q1 earnings for 2019, what are the key highlights for the company? [11:15]
    • Moving forward, it’s a weak quarter, how will Tencent move forward in the next few quarters, particularly on issues relating to gaming where they are at the mercy of the regulators in getting approvals?  [12:58]
    • There has been an re-organization in Tencent, what are the key personnel changes? [14:55]
    • During this year’s conference, Allen Zhang, the person in charge of Wechat gave a 4 hour keynote, and you did an excellent summary of the event, what are the key messages that he has delivered? [16:40]
    • What is Wechat 7.0 and what are the biggest changes for the app as compared to the past versions? [19:36]
    • Does the philosophy of Wechat app has an impact to how it has evolved differently from the other social media apps in China? [23:17]
    • Do Wechat starts incorporating AI and other infrastructure upgrades for this 7.0 version? [25:12]
    • How is Wechat 7.0 responding to their potential competition in different types of usage whether it’s ByteDance or Alibaba? [27:46]
    • Why is the Wechat app for enterprise not get talked about in the Western media given the deployment of the app has been quite impressive? [29:45]
    • Does Wechat 7.0 foreshadow a shift in business models for the messaging app? [34:28]
    • Is the narrative of Wechat killers over-hyped in the market? [36:35]
    • Matthew's thoughtful comments on the possibility of Tencent being caught in the US and China trade war [39:00]
  • Closing[41:49]
    • Can you recommend a book or movie or podcast or anything which recently made an impact to your work and personal life? [41:50]
    • How can my audience find you? [44:10]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong & weibo) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack and this episode is both hosted and edited by Carol Yin, and co-produced by Carol Yin and Bernard Leong.