The Chinese government's recent efforts to tighten supervision of online
gambling and virtual money will not have any real impact on Tencent, according
to experts, as the company's games and revenue are unlikely to be affected by
the new regulations.
"I don't think Tencent's
business will be significantly affected by the new regulations, since only a
very small part of the company's games and revenue involve online gambling,"
said Liu Bin, chief analyst at consulting firm BDA China.
A girl speaks on a phone at
QQ toys in Beijing in this November 2006 file photo.
China's four regulators launched a three-month crackdown on Internet gambling
on February 25, aiming to make the cyber environment cleaner and safer.
A week later, 14 Chinese regulators including the People's Bank of China released another circular against online
gambling and exchanges of virtual money with real currencies and properties, an
unusual sign that experts said showed the Chinese government's resolute stance
on online gambling and the supervision of virtual money.
release of the new regulations has put China's largest instant message service
provider Tencent under the spotlight after reports in the Chinese media that it
was involved in online gambling and its QQ coin sparked debate at the end of
The reports claimed that Tencent took a 10 percent cut of the stakes from its
users of some casual games that allowed them to bet with game coins. And because
the game coins could be bought with Tencent's virtual money, QQ coins, using
real money, Tencent was criticized for its involvement in online gambling.
"There are professional online gamblers who play Tencent games, but I think
the percentage is very, very small," said Liu. "And the company's revenue from
online gambling was extremely limited."
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