Tencent takes on Zoom in the lucrative video conferencing market
China’s internet giant Tencent Holdings has launched a new videoconferencing app in an attempt to penetrate and compete with major players in the international market.
VooV Meeting, the international spin-off of the company’s homegrown Tencent Meeting app, has already been rolled out in over 100 countries and regions, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.
Currently, the tool is free for use, and can host up to 300 participants in an online meeting.
Tencent Meeting has been doing well on home ground. With a daily active user base of more than 10 million, it claims to be the biggest video meeting app in China.
But the race to the top isn’t easy – its main competitors include major players such as Alibaba’s DingTalk and ByteDance’s Lark.
Both companies, too, saw a massive surge in user base: DingTalk recorded a 356 percent increase in downloads from both iPhone and Android smartphones in February, While Lark saw a 650 percent increase in the same period.
The company’s move to launch VooV Meeting is timely. Within a short span of three months, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced one-fifth of the world’s population to stay at home (there’s even a hashtag for it on social media) – and those lucky enough to retain their jobs will be working remotely.
Video conferencing tools have become an overnight sensation, with usage extending beyond just business meetings – it had also become a social platform for self-isolated individuals to connect with one another, and to ensure some continuity in daily life.
To gain the dominance it enjoyed on home ground on the international stage will be challenging. It will be competing with heavyweights such as MS Teams, Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts and most notably, Zoom.
Zoom has more than 20 million new mobile users to date, and is second only to TikTok as the world’s most-downloaded app. With its affordability, ease of use, and capacity – it can currently host 1000 people in a single meeting room – Zoom is the Goliath that all have to contend with.
Businesses looking to engage video conferencing services are now spoilt for choice, and must pick a tool that best meets their needs, as requirements will vary widely from sector to sector and across the size spectrum.
Consider factors like these: Can it support current operating systems? Would there be enough bandwidth, and is it user friendly enough for the current workforce?
The coronavirus outbreak may have given us a preview of the future of work, where videoconferencing is the new norm for collaboration and communication. A question, though, remains: would video conferencing be sustainable in the long run, and is there still a place for face-to-face meetups?
This, we suppose, we will only know once we get out of this outbreak.