Chinese web giant Tencent expanded its mobile gaming capability by investing $500 million to acquire a 28 per cent stake in South Korea’s CJ Games.

Tencent becomes the third-largest investor in CJ Games, which will acquire the online and mobile game portal Netmarble from another shareholder (CJ E&M) as part of the transaction.

Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said in a statement that the partnership “combines CJ Games’ unrivalled game development skills and mobile game line-up, together with Tencent’s strong game publishing and operation capabilities in China”.

Other recent app-related activity by Tencent includes the January launch of a mobile open platform giving developers access to its mobile app distribution channels and infrastructure.

Tencent also introduced games to its popular WeChat/Weixin messaging app at the beginning of the year in an effort to evolve the service to become a social platform. WeChat now has 355 million active monthly users and Tencent has plans to drive uptake outside its home market.

The investment in CJ Games is the latest move by Tencent to improve its competitive position in relation to Chinese rival Alibaba.