Chinese internet giant Tencent registered slowing revenue growth in the final quarter of 2023, with weaknesses in its gaming businesses offsetting strong gains in advertising. 

On its earnings call, chair and CEO Pony Ma noted its upgraded advertising AI model enabled  “us to deliver better ad targeting and higher revenue”.

He added total time spent on video accounts more than doubled as it expanded its short video content ecosystem, while the company’s mini games platform increased gross receipts by more than 50 per cent year-on-year. 

Net profit fell 75 per cent to CNY27 billion ($3.8 billion), hit by a loss of CNY6.7 billion on investments and other items, with total revenue increasing 7 per cent to CNY155.2 billion.

Online advertising grew 21 per cent to CNY29.8 billion. Domestic game sales slipped 3 per cent to CNY27 billion, while international games revenue was broadly flat at CNY13.9 billion.

President Martin Lau noted after initial concerns about proposed gaming rules, regulators explained the draft was to “provide a healthy environment for growing the industry rather than constraining the industry” and as a result it was “actually very encouraged by the supportive measures”.

Social networks revenue decreased 2 per cent to CNY28.2 billion, due to lower sales from music- and games-related live streaming services. 

Its fintech and business services unit grew 15 per cent to CNY54.4 billion.

Combined monthly active users (MAUs) of messaging service WeChat and Chinese version Weixin increased 2 per cent to 1.3 billion. QQ mobile messaging platform MAUs fell 3 per cent to 554 million.

Full-year R&D spending was up 4.4 per cent to CNY64.1 billion, while total capex rose 33 per cent to CNY23.9 billion.