Business

MNC, Tencent break into
online entertainment

Listed media conglomerate, PT Global Mediacom (BMTR), announced on Monday their collaboration with Tencent, China’s premier online portal, to deliver online communication and online entertainment products to the Indonesian market.

The integrated media company has a rich portfolio of media companies, consisting of television and radio stations as well as print publications and a news portal. Private television channel Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia (RCTI), daily newspaper Sindo as well as radio station V-Radio are some of the media companies operated by BMTR.

Meanwhile, Tencent runs the gamut of Internet-based services and products, from instant messaging platforms to online payment services. They introduced, in collaboration with mobile phone operators, their mobile-based Internet browser, QQ Browser, and mobile instant messaging platform, Qute, in the country earlier this year.

The browser itself has garnered more than 20 million users worldwide, previous reports have noted.

MNC Media CEO Harry Tanoesoedibjo said that both companies sought to collaborate in online communication and online games as these products fit well with Indonesia’s demographics.

The press release further mentioned that “one of Tencent’s applications that is gaining popularity in Indonesia and globally is WeChat.”

WeChat is a free, mobile-based, cross-platform messaging and social networking service. Previous reports point out that WeChat has a user base more than 200 million people strong.

Arya M. Sinulingga, the spokesperson for BMTR, said that the media conglomerate partnered with Tencent because the latter had ample experience in running Internet-based products.

He said the products that both companies would introduce would “be adjusted to Indonesian market conditions”, adding that the use of technology had skyrocketed in Indonesia and had hence, provided opportunities for media- and technology-related companies.

Indonesians are among the heaviest users of Facebook and Twitter, a fact that has drawn the attention of many companies looking to tap into the tech-savvy market.

Based on data from web information company Alexa, Facebook is the number one website in the country with google.co.id taking second place.

“There’s plenty of opportunities in new media,” he said, adding that the partnership would expand BMTR’s scope beyond television.

Antonny Liem, a startup observer, said that the companies chose WeChat looking at the success of similar products, such as BlackBerry Messenger and WhatsApp. “And there’s definitely a huge number of mobile phone users in the country,” he said.

SIM card penetration in Indonesia has surpassed 120 percent, and the device manufacturers continue to see Indonesia as a potential market given the country’s expanding middle class.

Antonny added that MNC’s clout as a media and content conglomerate was a magnet for other big tech players looking to enter the Indonesian market.

“This partnership, if it is for the long term, will be very interesting to watch,” he further said.

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