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High-stakes games: Tencent rolls the dice on mobile

08
Jan
2014

By Paul Carsten and Pete Sweeney BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings, Chinas largest Internet company by revenue, is betting that one-upmanship between friends playing addictive mobile games will boost revenue from WeChat, a social messaging app used by over half of all Chinese smartphone users. The company, led by billionaire CEO and Chairman Pony Ma, last week released an update to WeChat, or Weixin, hoping the addition of games, paid-for emoticons, or stickers, and a mobile payment system will help it cash in on a client base of more than 300 million people. Tencent doesnt charge users to download and play WeChats freemium games such as Tiantian Ai Xiaochu, which is similar to Candy Crush Saga, the worlds top grossing app, according to Think Gaming. Instead, WeChats social networking features encourage friendly competition between players and their contacts by sharing scores.

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