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Tencent’s Investments Pay Off

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Mar. 5 2019, Published 10:20 a.m. ET

A record number of backed companies listed

Tencent (TCEHY) faced several headwinds last year, including a freeze on new videogame approval in China that saw it report its first quarterly profit decline in more than a decade. Amid these challenges, Tencent stock came under pressure last year. However, despite these challenges, the year wasn’t entirely bad. In fact, at a closed-door investor meeting in Beijing, Tencent president Martin Lau told investors that the year was actually Tencent’s best in terms of investments, according to Reuters.

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Lau told investors that Tencent has invested in more than 700 companies over the past 11 years, and 63 of those companies have gone public, earning gains for Tencent. A record 16 Tencent-backed companies went public last year, according to Lau. Two well-known Tencent-backed companies include Spotify (SPOT), a Swedish music streaming service, and Tencent Music Entertainment (TME). Spotify went public last April in the United States, and Tencent Music went public in December.

No stopping Tencent

Impressed with its investments’ performance, Tencent won’t cut back on investing this year, Lau said. Tencent’s other investments include a stake in Snapchat parent Snap (SNAP) and JD.com (JD), one of China’s top e-commerce companies. Snap’s revenue rose 36% YoY (year-over-year) in the fourth quarter, outpacing Facebook (FB) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), whose revenue grew 30% and 22% YoY, respectively.

Tencent’s revenue rose 24% YoY to $11.7 billion in the third quarter. The company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on March 21.

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