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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Hong Kong Stock Exchange  >  Tencent Holdings Limited    700   KYG875721634

TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED

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WeChat U.S. ban cuts off users link to families in China

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08/07/2020 | 07:03pm EDT
Illustration picture of Wechat app on a mobile phone

U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on transactions using popular Chinese messaging app WeChat will cut ties to families and friends in China, millions of users in the United States fear, as they become the latest casualties in the standoff between the two nations.

WeChat, owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, is popular among Chinese students, expats and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China. Most popular messaging apps in the United States, including Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Telegram have been blocked in China.

"I came to the U.S. for free access to information. I feel I'm targeted by Trump," said Tingru Nan, a Chinese graduate student at the University of Delaware. "I'm living in constant fear now thinking I might get disconnected with friends and families."

The ban will cut off far more than the up to 6 million Chinese people who live in the United States. In the past three months, WeChat has had an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States, according to analytics firms Apptopia.

Expats, who are adept at working around oppressive firewalls in their home country, are preparing backup plans while in America.

Some WeChat users have started to share backup contacts for a limited number of apps that are still available in China, including Microsoft Corp's Skype and LinkedIn.

Others plan to do what they do at home to get around the "Great Firewall," as the blockade of foreign apps in China is known, by using virtual private networks (VPN) that mask a user's identity on a public network.

"When in China I need to use VPN to make Gmail and Instagram work. I've never imagined that I need to do similar things in the U.S.," said Tao Lei, a Philadelphia-based tech worker.

Allison Chan, a Chinese-American in Florida, uses a VPN every time she visits China to access U.S. sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter, which have been blocked by the Chinese government.

"After the 45-day period is up, I'll experiment with it and see if we can still use WeChat," Chan said.

She said WeChat has been a major tool for her and her parents to communicate with her grandparents in China.

"I understood the argument about security, but for me, it was more about how I'm going to talk to my family," Chan said. "My parents are worried about my grandparents because their health has been declining and they want to get constant updates about them."

Some Chinese expats in America worry that this is only the latest salvo in a worsening U.S.-China relationship.

"My parents are more worried than me when they saw the news," said Yun Li, a User Experience (UX) designer in Boston who is from Guangdong, China. "They also asked me to seriously consider moving back to China given the current political environment," she added.

By Krystal Hu

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. 0.96% 1422.86 Delayed Quote.6.23%
CHINESE PEOPLE HOLDINGS COMPANY LIMITED 9.09% 0.06 End-of-day quote.11.11%
FACEBOOK 0.20% 249.53 Delayed Quote.21.57%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION 1.30% 203.19 Delayed Quote.27.20%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.75% 505 End-of-day quote.34.45%
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Financials
Sales 2020 479 B 70 225 M 70 225 M
Net income 2020 120 B 17 644 M 17 644 M
Net cash 2020 79 106 M 11 604 M 11 604 M
P/E ratio 2020 35,7x
Yield 2020 0,29%
Capitalization 4 232 B 620 B 621 B
EV / Sales 2020 8,67x
EV / Sales 2021 6,97x
Nbr of Employees 70 756
Free-Float 60,4%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 45
Average target price 526,05 CNY
Last Close Price 444,88 CNY
Spread / Highest target 57,4%
Spread / Average Target 18,2%
Spread / Lowest Target -20,6%
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Managers
NameTitle
Hua Teng Ma Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Chi Ping Lau President & Executive Director
Yu Xin Ren COO & President-Interactive Entertainment Group
Shek Hon Lo Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Chen Ye Xu Chief Information Officer
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