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The increase there was mainly driven by growth at smartphone games, including existing titles such as Honour of Kings and newly launched titles MU Awakening and QQ Speed Mobile.

Tencent has invested heavily in video in the past year.

Fortnite, though unavailable in China yet, has gone viral in U.S. and Europe and ranked as the top-grossing game globally in March, according to Superdata. PC games remained flat with 14.1 billion yuan in revenue compared to same period a year ago.

Revenue from PC games was flat compared to past year, but analysts believe the comparison was tough with the 2017 first quarter, and overall its games business was strong. Since late March, the shares have seen a sharp reversal, losing about $87 billion in value to leave Tencent with a market capitalisation of about $480 billion.

Before the release of the first-quarter report, there had been concerns in the market about a potential slowdown in Tencent's online game income growth. Earlier Wednesday, Tencent shares were down 0.45% at HK$396.2. That helped drive a 55% local currency gain in advertising revenue to 10.69 billion yuan.

User numbers of Tencent's popular WeChat messenger app reached 1.04 billion.

Over the past year Tencent has completed 62 deals involving direct investments and mergers and acquisitions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Anchored by its marquee title, the smartphone games business yielded 68 percent growth in the quarter.

That game has gone viral with more than 40 million active users monthly across consoles and PCs. That was followed by a $95 million stake in online short video platform Pear, after the end of the quarter.

As our chart illustrates, there's no need for Tencent to shy away from comparisons with the world's largest social networking company. In January Tencent partnered with e-commerce companies Suning Commerce Group, JD.com and Sunac China Holdings in a 34 billion yuan investment in Wanda Commercial Properties, a Chinese retail operator, forging one of the world's biggest alliances between the new economy and bricks-and-mortar businesses.

Fortnite is the other game that is driving a strong quarter.


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