You can’t buy WeChat stock but you can buy the the company that owns it, Tencent. WeChat is now being heralded as one of China’s biggest internet properties, estimates saying that it has over 800 million users, many of whom look at the app 10 times a day or more.
The WeChat app is everything Facebook hopes to someday be, offering an incredible array of features that go way beyond just messaging. Its an app that allows a person to do things like shopping, banking, ride hailing, bill paying, file sharing, conferencing, and much more. Tencent is the parent company to WeChat and it is now the highest valued tech company in China, beating out the better known (in the West anyway) Alibaba.
How To Buy WeChat Stock By Buying Tencent
If you want to invest in WeChat, the only way you can do that is by buying Tencent stock. For investors around the world who don’t have access to the Hong Kong exchange where Tencent is listed, there is an ADR that you can buy over the counter. Stock symbol “TCEHY” can be bought through online discount brokers such as E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, Scottrade, Merrill Edge, OptionsHouse, and TradeKing.
TD Ameritrade has been in business for over 40 years and it is the broker I use for this website’s portfolio. I can highly recommend it and the reviews it gets are always good (#4 in Barron’s 2016 review of brokers) from financial publications. There is no minimum dollar requirement to open an account at TD Ameritrade so it is a good choice whether you are a beginner investor or more experienced. You will be able to buy TCEHY at TD Ameritrade as they do allow you to trade ADR’s
TCEHY is an ADR (American depository receipt) that allows investors to buy stocks of foreign companies. They trade exactly like regular stocks do in the US and if you buy the Tencent stock ADR you will own a piece of the company just like you would with any other stock you might buy through your discount broker.
Tencent Stock And WeChat
While you don’t hear much about Tencent in the American media, the stock has performed incredibly well since its IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2005. In late August 2016, the stock is near an all time high and you can take a look at the chart of its ADR since 2010:
Unlike America, Europe, and Japan where most have initially connected to the Internet through a desktop or a laptop, data shows that many Chinese people’s first such experience has been through a smart phone. Tencent has been perfectly positioned for this as a majority of its holdings are mobile related and that is one of the reasons the companies stock has done so well.
WeChat is often called a Super app and it is easy to see why if you watch the video below. It seems like you can do almost anything without ever leaving it and for many Chinese, WeChat is the Internet – no need for them to go anywhere else! It really makes a person wan’t to buy stock in its parent company Tencent and I sure wish I had wasted less time thinking about Alibaba and had known about TCEHY stock sooner. Now in late March 2017 it has been disclosed that Tencent has taken a 5% stake in Tesla showing that it is expanding its business interests to more than just the world of mobile Internet.