Tencent Breaks the Greenhouse: Returning to the Jungle and Changing Let Opponents Watch out

 Tencent Breaks the Greenhouse: Returning to the Jungle and Changing Let Opponents Watch out

Photo Source: Visual China

Author | Lin Teng


Wang Fan, who was always introverted, hesitated again and again, but still picked up his glass and stood up. Brother, enjoy yourself tonight first. We dont talk about business.

Originally the product manager of Tencent, he never thought that he would live like a salesman now.

In the past, Wang Fans job was to sit in his office every day and study the product details of Tencents video cloud. No need to contact customers, no need to pay, as long as hard work, is a typical state of yard farmer.

A year later, he became a member of Tencents newly established cloud and smart industry business group. Now, more often than not, he listens to customersneeds in offices or restaurants across the country. Sometimes, he even needs to take into account the role of sales to help bill.

Wang Fan was very dismayed. In the past, he didnt even have the funds to visit clients in Tencent. Now, the companys requirement for him is to go out and stay with customers.

In the meal, opposite the head of a live broadcasting company, is also the fourth customer Wang Fan contacted today. The customer has already used the competitors video cloud technology, with hundreds of thousands of orders per month, and Wang Fan needs to work hard to convince him to make a change.

Next to him is a young business man from Tencent, who is a little unfamiliar with Tencents video technology. On this occasion, Wang Fan is the only one who knows not only the needs of customers but also the advantages of Tencents products, which is why he is a product manager in the restaurant.

Wang Fan sometimes feels as if he was back in Huawei. He clearly remembers that Huawei product managers should cooperate with business, often stay downstairs to meet customers and pull them to dinner, so that customers feel you are sincere.

After three drinks tours, Wang Fan and the client became buddies. In the following time, they continued to drink and maintain a close relationship. During this period, Wang Fan has been advising a more appropriate video cloud solution for him from the perspective of product manager.

Finally, three months later, the customer switched to Tencent Clouds technical solution.

In a year, everything seems to have changed. Wang Fan said.


One year ago, on September 30, 2018, Tencent made its third major organizational restructuring. This adjustment is also called 930 change by Tencent.

Its biggest change is that Tencent has identified two new business groups: one is Cloud and Intelligence Industry Group (CSIG) for the B-end market, and the other is Platform and Content Group (PCG) for the content industry.

At a recent internal meeting, some employees asked Tencents top executives: Why hasnt the competitiveness of Tencents new business group been perceived at this stage?

The executive answered: The new business type is fundamentally different from the past; the first problem we have to face and solve is that some methods, systems and ideas have not kept pace in the past five years.

In the past, Tencent did not worry about users, traffic and capital. Over the years, it accumulated a set of complete and effective methodologies, exploiting new business almost swept the battlefield, as if it lived in a greenhouse of lying down and winning.

Tencent executives often use the metaphor that making a bomb is like dropping an air force bomb, and the whole site is yours.

However, the situation has changed abruptly in the past two years. In the new field of short video, Tencents tactics have suddenly failed.

The question is not that Tencent is losing its hegemony, but where is Tencents ability to fight back? Whether its existing organizational management and working mode fail in the new field or not.

The general view among Tencent employees is that the methodologies that Tencent product managers are proud of do not work well in emerging business areas, and that competitors have built barriers ahead of time.

In the past five years, our product manager thought that everything was going up, but they had already used guns and guns. At an internal meeting of Tencent, Tencent executives asked employees to be vigilant.

Therefore, after the adjustment of the organizational structure, Tencent is trying to break the greenhouse: get rid of the path dependence of the past, explore new business methodology, reactivate the desire of tens of thousands of capillaries, and continue the battle effectiveness of the past in the new business battlefield.

The change of Wang Fans working style is a sample. More and more Tencent employees begin to have similar experiences.

Li Yutao has transferred video cloud from QQ team for four years. He was most impressed by the fact that all his colleaguesmicro-mail avatars changed overnight from skilled men to professional uniforms. For performance, it looks like a real estate agent. He joked.

Zhao Dandandan has just moved from Tencents innovative products to Tencents cloud this year. Now I am like a small customer service in the daytime, and I have the opportunity to write some product plans in the evening.

At midnight, Zhao Dandandan received an email from Tang Daosheng, Senior Vice President of Tencent, asking about a customer. You can feel that hes afraid youre under too much pressure and hes very careful, but its clear that he really wants to do it well. Zhao Dandan said.


Tencent broke the greenhouse, CSIG is the first step.

On Friday morning, Liang Zhengfei, 35, and his colleagues put on their formal clothes and went to an office building in Nanshan Science Park, Shenzhen.

Liang Zhengfei, who was in charge of the sale of Tencent Cloud, and his team decided to apologize because a customer was dissatisfied with Tencents products and angrily exploded on the phone.

Liang Zhengfei worked in Tencent for nearly 10 years. Before that, he was responsible for the operation and maintenance of QQ and other products. In his impression, Tencents after-sales service was actually a very marginal department in the past, and users could hardly find Tencents customer service phone.

A year ago, Liang Zhengfei was transferred to Tencent Cloud Developer Service Center and led nearly 300 teams to become scavengers of Tencent Cloud. In addition to pre-sale business, customers spend 90% of their time communicating with their department.

Liang Zhengfei recalled the apology at that time: in fact, it was only a small company with less than five people, pushed open the door of the office, and two post-95 bosses were smoking as if nothing had happened.

They looked up and were surprised to find that Tencents uncles had arrived. Liang Zhengfei said that customersattitudes changed 180 degrees immediately after the meeting, because they said they did not expect Tencents staff to go to the door in person.

In a sense, CSIG is a different kind of Tencent. Most of Tencents products and businesses are in the toC (personal) field, while CSIG is in the toB (commercial) business.

The business chain of toB is much longer than that of toC. The needs of enterprise customers are transferred to the pre-sales architect through sales, then to the project manager, and then to the solution team.

For a long time, Tencents after-sales department has played the role of sandwich cake. The technical strength of the front-line service team is relatively weak. Solving the problem needs the support of the rear, but the rear needs to go through the process. As a result, the problem can not be solved immediately and is often drowned by the customerssaliva.

QQ or Wechat messages cant be sent out, just try again, but if the enterprise customers cant send out, the customers will be lost. Liang Zhengfei said that once not properly handled, the loss is Tencents reputation in the B-terminal.

In order to change their mindset, Tencent executives have also begun to take action.

In order to win big customers, Ma Huateng will even go to battle in person. During this year, Tencent executives, including Ma Huateng, often appeared in the office buildings of some big customers.

Since last year, Tencent has set up a service experience camp. Tang Daosheng will answer the phone at the front line and listen to customerssuggestions. He decided that the first item of CSIG values was customer word-of-mouth.

According to the interface news, after 930, Tencent proposed to have three carriages: one is to have good products, the other is to have industry solutions close to demand, and the third is to have good after-sales service.

According to Liang Zhengfeis plan, they want to make this department the product manager who knows the customers best, that is, they need to know the customers needs better than the product manager, and they also need to become technical experts.

The client wants to solve the problem in a few minutes, not just an apology. Liang Zhengfei said.

Since September 30 last year, CISG has set up seven departments: cloud, security, education, medical treatment, intelligent retail, cutting-edge technology and industrial ecology to meet the differentiated needs of different industries.

In the second quarter of 2019, Tencents revenue from financial technology and enterprise services was 22.888 billion yuan, an increase of 37% over the same period last year. Among them, the revenue of cloud business is mainly due to the expansion of sales team, product type and product promotion, which makes the paid customer group grow.


If CSIG is already practicing new methodology, PCG, which covers almost all content businesses except games, is on the way to finding new methodology.

According to Tencents assessment system, how many stars can PCG take?

This problem appeared in a business management seminar of PCG. In the opening session, PCG executives have to face the most internal and external questions of the past year and give their own answers.

Tencent used to be a product factory in the Internet industry. In the early days of mobile internet, Tencents products in the fields of social, tools, games, video and so on are all in the shape of methodologies.

But now, the name App Factory has been given to a company far away in Beijing called byte beating. Todays headlines, tremolo and other products under its flag quickly occupied the mobile phones of Chinese users.

On the contrary, Tencents corresponding products, such as daily bulletin and microvision, still lag far behind its rivals.

We lost in the method and system. Our opponent is the industrialized system. Tencent is not advanced enough in the way of using data. A senior Tencent executive reflected at an internal meeting.

From a social start, Tencents products emphasize interaction, design, experience and understanding of human nature. In content products, the methodologies that have been effective for many years have focused on the long-term content field of explosion-driven.

The content products represented by short video emphasize industrialized production. The so-called big platform + small front desk pursues high efficiency and rapid evolution mechanism behind it. Using ABtest test test data to make quick choices can greatly improve production capacity and efficiency.

On the surface, it seems that the current performance of the Micro-view is not as good as tremble; the reason behind is that the production mechanism of Tencents past products needs to be changed.

How did it change? The first step PCG does is break.

PCG is Tencents largest department, with nearly 9,000 personnel, and also Tencents largest business department. It has absorbed four different content services of BG. Previously, these content businesses have been deeply cultivated for many years, and they have their own methods.

Even Ren Yuxin, who once played Tencent and entertained each other, is known as the King of Game No. 3. The biggest challenge to take over PCG in a year is internal integration.

According to 36 krypton reports, several VPs of PCG had a heated debate over how to divide the track and business. It was extremely rare for Tencents top management to stop euphemism.

Among the eight VPs of the new PCG leadership team, Yin Yu, who was in charge of QQ and QQ viewing, the pillar of QQ space and micro-vision, Lin Songtao, who applied Bao, QQ browser and Tiantian Express, changed a lot. Two or three products have been made, and they should be passed on to others, including the team where the product is located.

On the first day, we did not reach a conclusion and consensus. We met until more than 1 a.m., and we didnt expect to have such a heated debate. But in the end, everyone listened to their opinions very fully and I made a decision. Ren Yuxin described it.

On the other hand, PCG is reorganizing the resources and capabilities scattered in various businesses in the past and integrating them into a set of industrial production modes. At present, technology platform and content platform have been formed.

In November 2018, more than 30 people, including PCG line leaders, held a six-hour seminar to set up a technology platform.

In the past, through some private channels, we can now directly understand how other businesses are doing, and what methods can we learn to use each other. An employee in PCG who is responsible for recommendation algorithms and background development tells interface news.

At a meeting, he found that Tencent video algorithms technical thinking is more video thinning, with the help of the platform used in short videos, previously identifiable duplicate videos on micro-vision, can be identified in large quantities, solving the pain point.

On the other hand, as the content middle platform, penguin has just carried out a round of upgrading. It is clearly positioned as a content service platform that provides data, technology, tools and settlement support. All content is deposited on penguin platform for sharing and handed over to Zeng Yu, the head of technology middle platform.

Content, recommendation, growth and other modules have been rebuilt, and the business curve will grow slope-wise. Progress is as expected, said a PCG operator. He believes that PCG content products have many types, and the coexistence of quality and traffic is not inconsistent.

Tencent COO Ren Yuxin said that micro-vision and even PCG are protracted wars.

In other words, behind it are the reconstruction of Tencents resources and capabilities, the construction of industrialized production system for content products, the breaking and activation of organizations, and the transformation of employeesproduction and thinking modes.

Hope to solve the problem systematically, although slower, but from the whole system to tune. Ren said.

Employees have questioned whether employee bonuses would be affected if they ignored expectations. Ren Yuxin pointed to several VPs and said that they would be affected.


No one can feel the pressure of Tencent breaking the greenhouse first than those 10% of senior and middle-level cadres.

At the end of 2018, Ma Huateng announced that managerial cadres should be able to rise and fall, and cadres are not lifelong. We will give priority to younger cadres with a 20% quota, hoping that more young people will stand out in the future.

After the meeting, Tencent abolished a number of middle-level, including assistant general manager, deputy general manager, general manager level, and even vice president. According to the calculation of more than 200 mid-cadres in Tencent, the proportion of adjustment is about 10%.

In June this year, Tencent adjusted its rank system and performance appraisal of middle and high-ranking cadres, pointing at reactive power is fault, and making it clear that the proportion of cadres at all levels capable is no less than 5% every year.

A demoted Tencent management cadre said that in the past, he thought it was someone elses business to be able to go up and down, but he didnt think the company was playing for real.

Previously, young Tencent employees also had a hidden rule: to be able to mix with the team leader has been your peak in Tencent, the next 10 years, may still be in place.

In order to enhance the vitality of the organization, Tencent Synchronized also adjusted the incentives for ordinary employees. The rank design of the past 1.1-6.3 has been cancelled and changed to 4-17 to clarify the management channel and professional channel.

Tencents internal staff interpreted that the biggest change was the relaxation of promotion channels at the grass-roots level. For example, in the past, Tencent ordinary staff had to raise the threshold from 2.3 to 3.1, which was particularly high. At present, the power of assessment and decision-making is delegated to their respective business groups.

According to Interface News, at the beginning of this year, byte beating, driven by self-developed games, dug horns at Tencent and other companies with double or even triple high salaries.

The high salary makes me and my colleagues very moved. Many colleagues have left. Finally, I chose to stay. A digged employee told Interface News that what attracted him was Tencents talent program for young employees, which he was already in the process of training. The Talent Program is what Ma Huateng said, giving priority to 20% of the promotion quota for young cadres.


Tencent has no toB gene, and Tencents short video is desperate. In the past year, many people have made such judgments about Tencents new business.

In the past, countless companies have failed on the road of transformation. Nokia, Motorola and other well-known companies have collapsed under the tide of the new era.

But there are exceptions. Less than 20 kilometers away from Tencents headquarters, Huawei, another giant, was ridiculed in the past as having only toB gene, but evolved to toC in genetics, and now has become a leader in consumer fields such as mobile phones.

Recently, the company has made another foray into the cloud business. One of Ren Zhengfeis management directions is to take customers as the center and strivers as the basis.

Microsoft is also a case in point. In the critical period when toC business touched the ceiling, Microsoft CEO Nadela started with cultural revival, refreshed Microsoft, focusing on cloud services and artificial intelligence.

Now, Tencent, a company that believes in both genetics and evolution, seems to have begun returning to the jungle from greenhouses.

Tencent has begun to change again, which is what opponents are most vigilant about.

(Wang Fan, Liang Zhengfei and Zhao Dandan should be aliased at the request of the visitors.)

Source: Responsible Editor of Interface News: Qiao Junjing_NBJ11279