Tencent reaps reward of VooV Meeting uptake while told to end exclusive music contracts

The Chinese internet giant has boasted that it saw usage of its video conference platform grow 26% worldwide during the first half of 2021.

Chinese internet giant Tencent has said that during the first half of 2021, it saw usage of its video conferencing platform VooV Meeting jump 26% worldwide.

As part of unveiling new features of the platform, the company said daily active users of Tencent Meeting, the Chinese mainland version of VooV meeting, reached more than 10 million users within two months of launching last year.

The company also claimed VooV Meeting was the "fastest" video and audio conference platform to reach more than 100 million users, getting to that total within 245 days.

"With the continuous rise in VooV Meeting's user numbers and download rates, Tencent Cloud strives to provide more efficient, reliable and convenient features to businesses and individuals that use video conferencing as an important tool in their development and company communication," Tencent Cloud International senior vice president Poshu Yeung said.

"By giving users the flexibility to access VooV Meeting through their browsers, as well as the ability to create breakout rooms from already existing groups, we aim to make their video conferencing even more integrated with their daily and work routines, therefore making them smoother, safer, and easier."

Last week, Tencent was ordered by regulators to end exclusive contracts with music copyright holders, as Beijing tightens rules around anti-competitive behaviour.

The State Administration for Market Regulation, according to a news report by Associated Press, has given the company 30 days to end these copyright contracts to "restore market competition".

According to the report, the antitrust watchdog claims that Tencent currently controls more than 8% of "exclusive music library resources" in China following its acquisition of China Music Group in 2016.

In response to the order, the AP report noted Tencent said it will "conscientiously abide by the decision".

Tencent further expanded its business in the booming online music industry at the start of this year, by acquiring Lazy Audio, a China-based audio platform that providing access to audiobooks, Chinese comedy, podcasts, and other radio shows, for 2.7 billion yuan.

At the end of last year, the market regulator slapped Tencent-backed China Literature and Alibaba with fines for failing to properly report past acquisitions deals for clearance.

China Literature was fined for failing to report its 2018 New Classics Media acquisition. Meanwhile, acquisition deals that Alibaba was fined for included its $692 million investment in Intime in 2014 and the e-commerce giant's $2.6 billion bid in 2017 to privatise Intime, the report said.

Alibaba is also currently being probed by the market regulator for alleged anti-competitive practices. The watchdog claimed the company has been involved in monopolistic conduct such as "forced exclusivity" by requiring e-commerce merchants to pick only one platform as their exclusive distribution channel.

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