Global Watch: China’s Tencent Launches TOS+ And Bets On Mobile Gaming

For years, apps created by Chinese Internet behemoth Tencent has run on all major operating systems, including iOS, Android, and even Windows OS. But propelled by the potential for its uber-popular messaging app WeChat to become a full-fledged platform, Tencent is now looking to develop its own operating system, specifically to capture the nascent IoT market.

Earlier this week, the Shenzhen-based company launched Tencent Operating System, or TOS+ for short. Designed to run on a wide range of connected devices including smart TVs, smartwatches, gaming consoles, and even virtual reality headsets, the Android-based OS will be free to use for manufacturers and developers if they agree to share revenue with Tencent. Unsurprisingly, it also comes with its own mobile payment system. With its own operating system, Tencent is now in direct completion with Alibaba (which developed YunOS) and Xiaomi (which also touts their own MIUI firmware) for a rapidly growing Chinese market.

In related news, Tencent has continued its push for mobile gaming with a minority stake in Glu Mobile, the game publisher behind popular iOS games such as Deer Hunter and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. In addition to its online and mobile gaming clout in Asia, Tencent already owns two mobile game companies Epic Games and Riot Games that have been quite successful in the US market. Whereas TOS+ obviously has a long way to go before it can compete with the likes of iOS and Android, it looks like mobile gaming could serve as a nice entry point for Tencent to break into western markets.

Header image taken from Tencent’s TOS Site

Open Source OS, Tinzen Puts $4 Million Up For App Competition

We’ve seen very little competition for iOS and Android, but open-source mobile platform, Tinzen may be one to watch out for. The Samsung and Intel backed operating system is launching an app competition with $4 million at stake to encourage developers to create compelling apps on the platform. Apps have proven to be a big selling point for consumers and device manufacturers so this could kickstart innovation for Tinzen, particularly with Samsung’s blessing. Also interesting is their decision to target the massive Chinese and South Korean markets, but with such a strong foothold from iOS and Android, Tinzen certainly has the deck stacked against them.