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TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED

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Tencent : bows to regulator, allows WeChat users access to rivals' links

09/17/2021 | 06:42am EDT
WeChat app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken

SHANGHAI, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings's popular WeChat messaging app will start allowing users to access external links from Friday, days after regulators told the company and its rivals to end a long-standing practice of blocking each other's links.

China's technology giants have historically prevented links and services by rivals from being shared on their platforms. On Monday, however, regulators said they were ordering firms to rectify this as the practice affected users' experience and damaged consumer rights.

The move is part of a broader regulatory crackdown on the industry that has wiped billions of dollars off the market value of some of China's largest companies.

WeChat said on Friday that it will implement the changes in phases, starting with allowing users to access links in private, one-to-one chats once they upgraded to the latest version of WeChat, although it would continue to follow principles such as preventing excessive marketing.

The plan will be carried out based on legal requirements and with the approval of regulatory authorities, it added.

"At the same time, WeChat will also actively cooperate with other Internet platforms to implement this guidance and explore the technical possibilities of using WeChat services on other platforms, to achieve further interconnectivity."

Under the old practice, WeChat users were not able to click directly through links to e-commerce marketplaces such as Taobao and Tmall, which are operated by Alibaba Group.

Instead they would be asked to open the link in a browser like Safari, which many had found problematic.

Tencent has also restricted users from sharing content from ByteDance-owned short video app Douyin on WeChat and QQ, another Tencent messaging app. In February, Douyin filed a complaint with a Beijing court saying it constituted monopolistic behavior. Tencent has called those accusations baseless. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)


ę Reuters 2021
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Financials
Sales 2021 577 B 90 336 M 90 336 M
Net income 2021 150 B 23 442 M 23 442 M
Net cash 2021 148 B 23 226 M 23 226 M
P/E ratio 2021 32,5x
Yield 2021 0,32%
Capitalization 4 781 B 615 B 749 B
EV / Sales 2021 8,03x
EV / Sales 2022 6,63x
Nbr of Employees 94 182
Free-Float 62,4%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 52
Last Close Price 502,00 CNY
Average target price 530,61 CNY
Spread / Average Target 5,70%
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Managers and Directors
Hua Teng Ma Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Chi Ping Lau President & Executive Director
Shek Hon Lo Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Chen Ye Xu Chief Information Officer
Yu Xin Ren COO & President-Interactive Entertainment Group
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