Chart: Tencent Sees Strong First-Quarter, WeChat Passes Milestone

Tencent Says Subsidy War with Alibaba Set to Continue After Beating Profits

Tencent Says Subsidy War with Alibaba Set to Continue After Beating Profits

China's largest social network operator reported net income of 23.29 billion yuan (US$3.65 billion) in the quarter ended March 31, beating average market expectations by about 30 per cent. Revenue reached 73.53 billion yuan, up 48 per cent from the same time a year ago, driven by online advertising, online games and messaging services.

Online advertising was up 55 percent year-on-year in terms of revenues, which was helped by video ads. Epic is a company in which Tencent has a large stake. This includes investments in cloud computing, retail, online entertainment and payments.

Tencent has a hand in the two biggest games in the smartphone world today: Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite .

China internet leader Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) reported mixed first-quarter earnings before the market open Wednesday. "Honour of Kings was a major contributor for mobile gaming revenue".

Revenue rose 48% to 73.5bn yuan, compared with analyst estimates for 70.8bn yuan.

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Net profit reached 23.28 billion yuan compared to an expected 17.5 billion yuan.

Shares of Tencent were largely unchanged in Hong Kong before earnings were announced. The stock has fallen 2.4 percent this year, compared with a 14 percent rise for New York-listed Alibaba.

Tencent, owner of the giant WeChat messaging and social network platform, has been opening its wallet to sustain growth as gaming from desktop gaming slows. The company has however been leery of barraging its users with ads - on Wednesday, it declared that it had raised the maximum number of ads that customers see on WeChat Moments, a function similar to Facebook's newsfeed, to just two a day, from one previously. Another title - Honour of Kings - was the world's highest-grossing mobile game previous year thanks to its China-based users and Tencent has been pushing it to worldwide audiences.

The social media company saw its monthly active users for its flagship WeChat app pass the 1-billion mark for the first time during the quarter, hitting 1.04 billion users worldwide by the end of March.

Tencent has rights to operate that game across China but has said as not yet been monetized, highlighting the potential the title has for the future. "Tencent's strength in mobile games market also comes from its equity relationship with leading global developers".

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