Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Business / Companies

Tencent move in line with regulations

By CHENG YU | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-18 09:13
Share - WeChat
The booth of Tencent during the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services held in Beijing in September. [SONG YU/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Tencent Holdings pledged to return capital to its existing shareholders through the distribution of its $20.3 billion stake in food delivery firm Meituan, as China's leading internet companies strive to redirect their investments amid the country's normalized anti-monopoly regulations focused on the sector.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Tencent said that it would divest 958.12 million Hong Kong-listed shares in Meituan, which amounts to 90.9 percent of the Class B ordinary shares it holds in the company. The move will reduce its stake in Meituan from 17 percent to 1.5 percent, ending its long run as the company's largest shareholder.

Following the news, Tencent's shares slightly dipped 0.82 percent on Thursday while Meituan dropped 5.73 percent. Overall, the Hang Seng Index slid 1.16 percent.

"It is a relatively stable way of reducing shares, as once sold off at one time, both companies will face greater stock price pressure," said Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University's International Business School.

Wang Peng, a researcher at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, said, "It is wise for Tencent to cash out when profit from Meituan has basically peaked, especially as Chinese tech stocks have been facing pressure recently."

On late Wednesday, the tech group announced quarterly revenue of 140 billion yuan ($19 billion) during the third quarter, down 2 percent year-on-year, which beat market expectations. Its net profit hit 32.25 billion yuan, up 2 percent year-on-year, ending a four-quarter decline.

It was not the first time for Tencent to sell shares. The tech company announced plans in December to pare its stake in online retailer JD and sold about $3 billion worth of shares in Southeast Asia's biggest internet company — Sea Ltd.

Analysts believe it is a trend for Chinese tech and internet giants to prune their various business lines to focus on their major business activities amid the country's anti-monopoly efforts. These big tech companies will likely invest more in technologies and services that serve the real economy, like artificial intelligence, they said.

"It is likely that Tencent will continue to pare its asset-heavy companies and gradually turn to its main business, including media and the internet, gaming, social networking, advertising and finance," Pan said.

In September, Tencent won its first license for a new gaming title since June 2021. Tencent President Martin Lau, who has resigned as a board member of Meituan, also said in a call on Wednesday that the company "believes more licenses will be forthcoming in the future".

Wang added that similar moves will create space for more small and medium-sized enterprises, which is actually in accordance with the country's goal of promoting common prosperity.

According to data tracking company Qichacha, the number of early-stage investments by Tencent in the entertainment sector has been declining, but corporate service investments reached 16 cases last year, the highest ever.

Alibaba Group's investments were tightened last year but still focused on its three main businesses of e-commerce logistics, corporate services and lifestyle-related services.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349