Tencent, China’s largest Internet company by revenue, announced today that it has hired Peter Cheng, the former chief operating officer of AdChina, as the general manager of Tencent’s online media group advertising platform. Cheng will take charge of Tencent’s advertising platform-related business and report to SY Lau, the senior executive vice president of Tencent and president of the online media group. The move comes after Tencent warned of slowing advertising spending in the Chinese market.
Cheng became AdChina’s COO in February 2008, where he was responsible for the daily operations of the company’s integrated marketing and advertising platform. Before joining AdChina, Cheng was vice president of product management at online advertising company Adify and prior to that held senior marketing and product management positions at eBay, Oracle, and FedEx.
Back in November, Tencent said that advertising spending in the Chinese market continues to be slow due to a weak economy and industrywide sluggishness. Even though Tencent’s ad-revenue growth in the third quarter reached 69 percent, the company warned that its winning streak was coming to an end “because decelerating economic growth in China may slow revenue growth rates for the online-advertising industry as a whole, including [Tencent's] own online-advertising business.” Other Chinese Internet companies hit by declining advertising spending include Baidu and Renren. At that time, however, Tencent chief strategy officer James Mitchell also said that the company still has room to add advertisements, in particular targeted ads, to its platforms.
In May 2012, Tencent restructured its business units into six groups, including the Online Media Group Cheng just joined. The move was meant to help it ward off competition from Alibaba/Taobao and Sina Weibo. Cheng will “continue to work on maximizing advertisers’ marketing value through the integration of Tencent’s marketing platforms,” said the company in a press release.
“More and more advertisers are focusing on new media and mobile marketing. Soon, new technologies such as RTB, audience targeting and social CRM (customer relationship management) will inject new power into online marketing,” said Cheng in the statement. “We are already seeing major developments in online video advertising, and all of these innovations will revolutionize traditional marketing approaches.”