Tencent’s positive Q4 results contrast with regulation fears

By William Smith
A leading light of the company’s results was its gaming business - taking $6bn in the final quarter, an increase of 29...

Chinese tech giant Tencent has announced bumper fourth quarter results. 

With a 26% revenue boost in the fourth quarter totalling $20.5bn, its 2020 financial year as a whole saw the company climb 28% compared to 2019, reaching $73.9bn.

Tencent is, through its subsidiaries and associates, active in a wealth of industries with a focus on technology. Led by one of China’s most prominent business magnates in the form of “Pony” Ma Huateng, the company’s offerings range from instant messaging services to video game publishing and web portals. 

Countering regulation fears

Its size and influence has drawn the eye of the Chinese Government, which last year flexed its muscles to halt fintech rival Ant Group’s IPO. Fears that Tencent would be forced to spin off financial elements of its business such as banking, insurance and payment services precipitated a $62bn fall in its value earlier this month.

Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said: "While 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges, solid results across all our businesses testify to our focus on user value, technology innovation and business sustainability. We extended our leading position in the consumer internet space with enriched content and innovations across our products, while making notable progress in international expansion, starting with games. 

“We also further penetrated into industrial internet with our flagship SaaS products and upgraded cloud infrastructure. We will continue to implement Tech for Good and work with industry partners to bring value-enhancing products and services to users, enterprises and society as a whole."

The gaming boom

A leading light of the company’s results was its gaming business - taking $6bn in the final quarter, an increase of 29%. Furthermore, its international gaming revenue was up 43% to $1.5bn.

In a call with investors, Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell said: “PUBG Mobile ranked as the most popular smartphone game by monthly active users for the second consecutive year. And its flagship tournament was the most viewed eSports competition among all mobile games. We're increasingly seeking to create games with global appeal. By collaborating with renowned console game and anime IPs, we can bring our new mobile games to wider global attention.” 

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