These days in China you can book a dental appointment, hail a taxi or borrow a shared bike via internet giant Tencent. Through Alibaba, you can buy Macy’s merchandise, Armani beauty products and, by year’s end, Ford cars from vending machines.
China’s two tech leaders have brilliantly converted their strengths — in e-commerce for Alibaba, in games and social media for Tencent — into innovative ecosystems that cater to most aspects of everyday life. In much of the Middle Kingdom, cash has disappeared, replaced by Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Wallet.
Now, with entertainment considered a core business by both companies, the behemoths are going head to head in sectors such as video streaming, online ticket selling and film investing. They’re taking their strategies and competition global, with a speed and gargantuan ambition that beg comparisons with Google and Amazon. For Hollywood, Alibaba and Tencent have become the standout Chinese business partner ….