Tencent profit leaps on services focus

Hong Kong-listed Tencent Holdings – the parent of WeChat – has announced a 22 per cent leap in fourth-quarter profit, with online advertising income surging 110 per cent.

Net income for the quarter to December was  7.16 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion)

Tencent has more than 1 billion users of its popular messaging apps WeChat and QQ and like its rivals including Viber and Facebook’s Messenger, it is seeking ways to make money from growing social networks of users.

Tencent’s greatest success to date has been in video games, playable on phones and portable devices, leading to it buying the rights to comics, anime and even novels to convert into games.

“We’ve been spending money to acquire high quality content,” Tencent president Martin Lau told a press conference.

“We really are focusing on building a healthy ecosystem for third party content providers.”

The company is also developing service apps such as food delivery and is looking at health, education and media content as future growth opportunities.

At the end of the quarter, WeChat haad 697 million users and QQ had 641.5 million on mobile.

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