Tencent's Ma pledges compliance with regulators 01

Updated: 2021-04-27

Tencent Holdings Ltd head Pony Ma said he will cooperate with antitrust regulators as big technology companies in China are facing intense scrutiny for monopolistic behavior that could stifle innovation.

The internet giant is "working closely with the government and the regulators on compliance matters", the chief executive officer of Tencent said during an earnings call on Wednesday, after the company reported surging profits last year.

Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said Ma's "voluntary" meeting earlier this month was one of the regular meetings with the government that cover a broad range of topics including regulatory oversight.

"The main focus was actually on fostering a healthy environment for innovation," Lau said.

The statements came as the world's top gaming company raked in 482.1 billion yuan ($73.9 billion) last year, up 28 percent from a year earlier as COVID-19 lock-down boosted gaming internationally and the Chinese spent more through Tencent's WeChat Pay mobile wallet. Net profit jumped 71 percent to 159.9 billion yuan.

Latest quarterly results also beat analysts' expectation, with net profit for the three months ending December nearly tripling to a record 59.3 billion yuan, while revenue rose 26 percent to 133.67 billion yuan.

Cash cow segment online gaming surged 36 percent to 156.1 billion yuan. The company said its game title King of Glory was the top-grossing mobile game globally for the second year in a row.

"As for antimonopoly concerns, (Tencent's) management (team) reiterates the focus on user value and innovation and has been self-constraining on monetization and maintaining prudent business practices," said Alicia Yap, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd in a research note.