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Jack Ma of Alibaba and Pony Ma at Tencent speaking about their successes at a conference. Photo: VCG/Getty Images

"Jack Ma of Alibaba and Pony Ma of Tencent built tech empires that dominate China’s digital economy. Is the world big enough for both of them?"— FORTUNE's Adam Lashinsky writes.

The state of play: "[A]s they’ve grown, each inevitably has begun to encroach on the other’s turf. Tencent ... is investing in retail and financial services, sectors that are Alibaba’s strength. Alibaba in turn sees an opening in Tencent’s domain, particularly by offering mobile-messaging tools."

  • "[T]he two heavyweights of the Chinese Internet industry, Alibaba and Tencent ... [each] have market capitalizations that hover around half a trillion U.S. dollars."
  • "Both command sectors of the rapidly growing Chinese digital landscape: Tencent owns the leading gaming and messaging platform, while Alibaba rules e-commerce. Both are aggressive investors inside and outside China."
  • "[B]oth touch an astounding percentage of the world’s most populous country: Alibaba’s various online marketplaces count 552 million active customers; Tencent’s WeChat messaging service recently surpassed 1 billion accounts."
  • "Their top leaders share a surname, though Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Tencent’s Pony Ma aren’t related."

Worthy of your time.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.