2010/11/30

China's Tencent to offer Facebook-like services: report

BEIJING, November 29, 2010 (AFP) - Chinese Internet firm Tencent plans to offer users links to third-party websites and access to externally developed applications, mirroring some features of Facebook, a report said Monday.

Tencent was testing about 10 third-party applications to run on QZone, its social network, and Tenpay, its online payment platform, company president Martin Lau told the Financial Times in an interview.

The firm, which runs the world's largest instant messaging service QQ, was also testing several external websites that users could link to in the way Facebook members can link to other sites with the "like" function, the newspaper said.

The move would change the way the company makes money, it said.

The announcement comes as Tencent scrambles to repair the damage from a fight with Qihoo 360, a local antivirus software provider.

Last month, Tencent suspended services for those QQ users who also had 360 software on their computers.

Tencent said it was defending itself against a malicious software attack, but the move triggered accusations that it had too much power.

Up until now Tencent has focused on selling an ever-growing array of products such as online games and virtual goods to its more than 600 million QQ users.

Lau said Tencent would share the revenues generated by the third-party applications with their developers and expected the traffic to other websites to generate a new advertising business.