Shenzhen-based Tencent Technology Ltd launched a beta portal website yesterday. The company, known for it's Chinese-language instant messaging software that boasts 226 million registered users and 71 million active accounts, is entering portal terrain held closely by rivals Sohu.com, Sina.com, and Netease.com.

While Microsoft's and ICQ's instant messenging (IM) applications were going through growing strains a few years ago as they attempted to capture the online Chinese market, Tencent was already grabbing users with their streamlined and easy-to-use interfaces. The QQ.com site will complement Tencent's IM application by offering games and entertainment news and information.

A Tencent spokesperson declined to offer financial details about the company, but with its newly created portal it will be seeking an initial public offering some time next year.

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