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腾讯5000万美元投资“西方版微信”

发表时间:2015-10-08内容来源:VOA英语学习网
Tencent has invested $50m in Kik, the teen-focused chat app which aspires to be the ‘WeChat of the west’, valuing the Canadian start-up at over $1bn. The Chinese internet group, which owns WeChat, is betting that Kik could replicate its own success in developing chat apps into a platform that incorporates everything from ecommerce to banking in the US. Kik raised funds from venture capitalists including Union Square Ventures, which backed Twitter, and SV Angel, an investor in many social apps including Pinterest, last November. But it had hired advisers to explore more strategic investments, including, it was reported, a possible sale. Ted Livingston, chief executive of Ontario-based Kik, said Tencent was always at the top of its wish list of potential partners. He is looking forward to bouncing ideas off Tencent as he develops more services for Kik. The teen-focused app allows people to watch YouTube videos within chat and have conversations with ‘marketing bots’ programmed to give both helpful and funny answers. However, he wants to expand into other services that look to target teenagers while they are still forming their shopping habits. “For all these youths coming online for the first time it is an opportunity for ecommerce sites and financial institutions to build something amazing just for them, in a place they are spending all their time anyway,” he said. Some 70 per cent of Kik’s 240m registered users are aged between 13 and 24, with the company estimating that about 40 per cent of US teens use Kik. Tencent’s WeChat and Weixin, both similar chat apps, boasted 600m monthly active users last quarter, up 37 per cent year on year. But the vast majority of these users are based in China and the company does not yet have a foothold in the US. However, Tencent, like Chinese rival Alibaba, has been busy investing in western technology companies. It is widely reported to have invested in Snapchat, the disappearing photo messages app, as well as Whisper, an anonymous messaging app, Cyanogen, a mobile customisation app and Scanadu, a maker of health diagnostics hardware. Alibaba’s VC arm has also invested in Snapchat, as well as messaging app Tango. Mr Livingston said many western social apps did not understand the value of chat as a platform for other services. But he said Facebook had showed it did understand when it hired David Marcus, former chief executive of PayPal, to lead its work on messaging. Facebook has since begun integrating payments and conversations with retailers into the Facebook Messenger app. However, Mr Livingston said Facebook was no longer the preferred destination of teens. “If you are a retailer going after adults you will use Facebook Messenger but every study out there shows teenagers don’t like Facebook, they have it but they have it in the same way we all have a driver’s licence,” he said. 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20151008/Chinas-Tencent-invests-$50m-in-WeChat-of-the-west.html