Briefing: Tencent streaming service WeTV lands in Taiwan despite security concerns
May 14, 2019
Tencent’s Video-Streaming Service WeTV Comes to Taiwan – Yicai Global
What happened: On Monday, a Taiwanese news outlet reported that Tencent’s video-streaming service, WeTV, had arrived on Taiwanese shores through its subsidiary Image Future Investment HK. Currently, users can sign up for monthly or quarterly content plans priced from NTD 190 to NTD 560 (around $6 to $18). The app, which is available on iOS as well as Android, had been downloaded 500,000 times on the Google Play store as of Monday.
Why it’s important: While Taiwan’s total population of 23 million represents only a small fraction of WeTV’s user base, the territory has a wireless internet penetration rate of 100%, with residents clocking relatively high monthly average rates of online traffic. Tencent’s move came as a surprise, however. In March Nikkei Asian Review reported that Taiwanese officials harbored doubts about allowing the tech titan’s streaming service enter the market due to security concerns. At the time the deputy minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council cited the risk of “cultural and political influences” that could “affect Taiwan’s elections.” Baidu’s iQiyi streaming platform was blocked in Taiwan in late 2016, only to later return through local partner OTT Entertainment—a company which was founded by iQiyi’s regional head but claims to have no relationship to the Beijing-based platform.