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As Chinese internet giant Tencent stumbles, Beijing gets the blame

18 August 2018

Mobile gaming revenue rose 19 percent year-on-year in the June quarter to 17.6 billion yuan, representing a quarter-on-quarter decline of 19 percent.

After soaring into the ranks of the world's biggest companies, Tencent has lost more than $US150 billion ($207 billion) of market value as the company struggles to monetise new games.

"From a revenue growth perspective, gaming is a key area of weakness and our biggest game is not monetisable", president Martin Lau said on a conference call with investors Wednesday.

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With the license freeze in place, the likes of Tencent and other companies that have lucrative partnerships with Western organizations like Blizzard have been seeing an impact on stock values.

There has been a sell off of Chinese tech and entertainment stocks, led by stock market darling Tencent, the company behind the ubiquitous-in-China WeChat mobile app. Although gaming revenue made up 40 percent of the revenue, it is also the business line that is causing the financial woes. "The fact that Monster Hunter got taken down shows that even Tencent isn't immune from regulatory crackdowns".

The report also highlighted the steady number of daily active users for its mobile games despite a drop in monetization, citing how Arena of Valor has more than 13 million DAUs and generated over $30 million per month outside China for the first half of the financial year.

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With the government freeze, Tencent has been hampered from making money off two of the most popular games in the world - Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Gaming revenue dropped 12 percent from the first quarter, which the company said reflected a user shift into non-monetised games, the timing of new game launches and "weaker seasonality". Recently, the news has come out that the authorities are holding off the issuing of gaming licenses for video games for at least 4 months. It said it cashed out of startups such as Ele.me and Mobike to raise capital to bankroll new services such as game live-streaming and in traditional retail.

The media is yet uncertain about the future of the gaming industry.

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"If they previously didn't get an approval, it seems that there will continue to be a hold on that". And after years of growth, Chinese tech giant Tencent has become one of the largest Internet companies in the world. For China, Tencent and developer Bluehole substitute slime-green splatterings for oozing red blood so the game appears more like monsters fighting than people killing each other. Last year, Tencent proactively imposed restrictions on how long younger players can play a game per session.

As Chinese internet giant Tencent stumbles, Beijing gets the blame