Tencent boss vows 'compliance' with China regulators
Tencent's billionaire founder Ma Huateng — China's second richest man — has met with anti-monopoly regulators and agreed his firm will be "as compliant as possible," after rival tech giant Alibaba was battered by legal woes.
Tencent, which owns the super-app WeChat and a lucrative gaming empire, is the latest tech conglomerate to fall in the crosshairs of China's regulators.
They have launched a blitz on anti-competitive practices.
Ma said he would "actively cooperate with regulatory authorities and be as compliant as possible" during a news briefing late on Wednesday on Tencent's annual results, reported Chinese financial outlet Yicai.
Martin Lau, Tencent's president and executive director, also said they had met with the government several times to discuss anti-monopoly efforts and hoped to create a "healthy environment" to foster innovation.
"Tencent has throughout attached high importance to compliance," he was quoted as saying.
The company's shares slumped 5 percent from US$80.93 to US$76.81 by close of trading on Wednesday.
But it reported a jump in revenue of 26 percent to 133.67 billion yuan (US$20.5 billion) last quarter, boosted by strong gaming sales during the pandemic.
Authorities last year halted a record US$34 billion initial public offering by fintech provider Ant Group, owned by Tencent's nearest rival Alibaba.
They called in its billionaire founder Jack Ma and then opened an investigation into Alibaba business practices deemed anti-competitive.