Tencent reveals how it gets users to pay for its service

We've all seen those "OMG! Don't make us pay for Facebook" fake petitions, but App.net and The Social Network raise questions about how our social services raise their moolah. Tencent's Sophia Ong has revealed that it's in the unique position of having users happy to pay for services that we take for granted. While signups for QZone (Facebook equivalent) is free, users have to use QBs, the site's virtual currency, to buy and clothe their avatars. While 1 QB = 1 yuan ($0.16), there are 30 million paying customers on the site -- meaning that the company can count on around $50 million in monthly payments. It's not stopping there either, sensing a slowdown in the local economy, the company has an eye on opening up its eCommerce platform to ensure it can continue to rake in the cash.