Tencent reports over a billion WeChat users in Q1

Tencent Sees Profit Increase of 61% Thanks to Games Business

Tencent, China's leading provider of mobile messaging and online games, reported revenue of 73.53 billion yuan, or $11.693 billion. According to Wednesday's release, the company flipped to net debt of 14.5 billion yuan as of March 31, compared to net cash of 16.3 billion yuan at the end of 2017, as a direct result of its investments and mergers and acquisitions activity. This upturn was largely driven by revenue from online games, advertisements and social networks.

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

The following is an updated table of Chinese company earnings during the first quarter, starting with the most recent to report. The mobile version of Fornite was an instant hit in the United States market after its March launch, becoming the highest-grossing iOS game there.

Tencent, the world's largest videogame company, has lost nearly $90 billion of its market value since March, due to concerns about slowing growth and shrinking margins. Shares in Naspers Ltd., which as Tencent's top shareholder is often regarded as a proxy for the Chinese firm, rose 2.6 percent in early Wednesday trade.

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User numbers of its popular WeChat messenger app reached 1.04 billion, helping advertising revenue grow 55 pct to 10.69 billion yuan.

Smartphone game revenue soared while PC gaming revenue was flat as PC gaming users fell. The essay, written by veteran tech editor Pan Luan, claimed the company had "lost its dream" by becoming an investment company instead of continuing to develop great products in core areas such as search, e-commerce, information streaming, short video and cloud services. Developed by Tencent's own studio, the mobile title resembles the world's most popular desktop title League of Legends, whose developer was acquired by Tencent in 2015.

Tencent said mobile game revenue hit 21.7 billion RMB ($3.4 billion) during the quarter, up 68 year-on-year. Tencent executives have signaled a willingness to sacrifice margins in favor of longer term growth in new businesses, though that would depend on growing and engaging a massive user base now primarily confined to China. The company secured the rights to distribute both "battle royale" games in China and beyond and said it is just beginning to monetize them. The market had also anxious that Tencent's spending plans for its videos, artificial intelligence and mobile payments could hurt its margins.

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