Tencent named one of most innovative companies

Updated: 2015-12-03 11:56

By Amy He in New York(China Daily USA)

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Tech giant Tencent was named by the Boston Consulting Group on Wednesday as one of the most innovative companies in the world, rising to 12th from 47th in the rankings.

BCG's 10 most innovative companies are: Apple, Google, Tesla Motors, Microsoft, Samsung, Toyota, BMW, Gilead Sciences, Amazon and Daimler.

The rankings were compiled from survey responses by 1,500 senior executives at companies from a wide range of industries. The companies were judged mainly for their speed, research and development processes; use of technological platforms; and exploration of adjacent markets.

The report's authors said that speed has long been seen as a key attribute of strong innovators. Survey results supported speed's growing importance.

The authors said that "overly long development times were the most-cited obstacle to generating returns on innovation and product development" and that "fast innovators are much more likely to also be strong innovators".

"I think user platform and speed are two things that Tencent has been quite spectacular on," said Puneet Manchanda, professor of marketing at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. "They've been moving very fast into many other areas, like media, streaming, advertising, and now apps for taxicab hailing and so on."

In the past year, Tencent, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, has announced it will roll out a mobile payments service for overseas users; distribute music via its QQ Music platform; partner with a US film studio to make a video-game action film; and work with US publishers to sell American titles on its Tencent Literature platform. Those products extend far beyond the company's core products like its instant messaging platform QQ and social mobile app WeChat.

"It's a fast-acting company for sure, but it also has platforms where it can launch new services that plug and play into those platforms. That's what has made it so fast - anything they want to do in media, advertising, e-commerce, you have close to 800 million on your various platforms and you have a lot of social media data. The platforms can be leveraged very quickly," Manchanda said.

The report's authors said that greater agility has the "potential to boost a company's top and bottom lines, and flexible and mobile consumers demand it."

Speed allows companies to gain larger market share, reduce development costs and increase forecasting accuracy, they said.

The list of 50 innovative companies includes two other Chinese brands: Huawei and Lenovo, both makers of electronic products.

"Lenovo probably makes it on the lean manufacturing criteria. It has been pretty good at streamlining manufacturing, and the brand has been nurtured reasonably well," Manchanda said.

"Huawei is actually quite innovative - they don't get talked about much because they don't supply consumer-facing products as much but they are very innovative and their electronic equipment is world class," he said.