Tencent upgrades WeChat as company hopes to boost revenue through games

By IVCPOST Staff Reporter

Aug 14, 2013 08:27 AM EDT

China's biggest internet firm by revenue, Tencent Holdings, believes that playing addictive games on mobile devices would boost the revenue of WeChat. WeChat or Weixin in China, is the company's social messaging application. It is currently being utilized by more than half of all the smartphone users in China.

Last week, Tencent released an update to WeChat as it plans to capitalize on the customer base of more than 300 million people. Tencent added games, paid-for emoticons and stickers and a payment system through the WeChat app.

"We're going to buy into high-end game developers and start developing free-to-play content for developing markets," Tencent's executive in charge of game development, Steve Gray, told Reuters.

This year, Tencent's shares have increased by up to 48% on the Hang Seng index. Naspers Ltd., an investor in Tencent, valued the company to be around USD88 billion. On the other hand, Barclays estimated that by 2014, WeChat would account for CNY2.95 billion of Tencent's revenue. It added that the mobile games of the company would make up 73% of the revenue.

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