Founded in November, 1998, Tencent has grown into one of China's largest and most used Internet service portal. Since its establishment over the last decade, Tencent has maintained steady growth under its user-oriented operating strategies. On June 16, 2004, Tencent Holdings Limited (SEHK 700) went public on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
It is Tencent's mission to enhance the quality of human life through Internet services. Presently, Tencent is providing value-added Internet, mobile and telecom services and online advertising under the strategic goal of providing users with "one-stop online lifestyle services". Tencent’s leading Internet platforms in China – QQ (QQ Instant Messenger), WeChat, QQ.com, QQ Games, Qzone, and Tenpay – have brought together China's largest Internet community, to meet the various needs of Internet users including communication, information, entertainment, e-commerce and others. As of Dec 31, 2015, the active QQ users accounts for QQ IM amounted to 853 million while its peak concurrent users reached 241 million. Combined MAU of Weixin and WeChat was 697 million. The development of Tencent has profoundly influenced the ways hundreds of millions of Internet users communicate with one another as well as their lifestyles. It also brings possibilities of a wider range of applications to the China’s Internet industry.
Looking forward, Tencent remains committed to enhancing its development and innovation capabilities while strengthening its nationwide branding for its long term development. More than 50% of Tencent employees are R&D staff. Tencent has obtained patents relating to the technologies in various areas: instant messaging, e-commerce, online payment services, search engine, information security, gaming, and many more. In 2007, Tencent invested more than RMB100 million in setting up the Tencent Research Institute, China's first Internet research institute, with campuses in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The institute focuses on the self-development of core Internet technologies, in pursuing its development and innovation for the industry.
Tencent's long term vision is to become the most respected Internet enterprise. In order to fulfill corporate social responsibilities and to promote civil Internet communities, Tencent has been actively participating in public charity programs. In 2006, Tencent inaugurated the Tencent Charity Fund, the first charity foundation set up by a Chinese Internet enterprise, and the public charity website gongyi.qq.com. The website focuses on youth education, assisting impoverished communities, care for the disadvantaged, and disaster relief. Tencent has currently begun a number of public charity projects across China. It strives to help build a harmonious society and to become a good corporate citizen.