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Tencent sees AI 'multiplier' amid profit rebound

By Cheng Yu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-23 09:24

A woman is seen at the Tencent Holdings Ltd booth during an expo in Shanghai. [Photo by Fan Jianlei/For China Daily]

Chinese tech leader Tencent Holdings said on Wednesday that artificial intelligence would be a future "growth multiplier" for the company, as it reported a rebound in net profit in the fourth quarter of last year.

The company's net profit, after five successive quarters of declines, rose 19 percent year-on-year to 29.7 billion yuan ($4.32 billion) in the fourth quarter.

Though the overall revenue last year saw slight drop to 554.55 billion yuan, revenue from businesses related to the integration of digital economy and real economy, represented by fintech and enterprise services, hit a new high of 177.06 billion yuan.

Amid the worldwide ChatGPT craze, Tencent President Martin Lau said during a medica call that the company would invest resources into building foundational AI models and gradually roll out its own, but that the company would not rush to launch a similar chatbot.

Notably, Tencent's gaming growth remained solid. Revenue from gaming businesses overseas in particular soared 5 percent to 13.9 billion yuan.

Also, WeChat Channels, Tencent's short video platform, saw the number of daily active creators and video uploads rise by over 100 percent year-on-year last year.

The total time users spend on Channels also exceeded that of WeChat Moments, a popular social networking function allowing interaction with text, photos and videos between WeChat friends.

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