Hong Kong: Tencent Holdings is cutting the marketing budget of its gaming division as the business suffers through regulatory disruptions and a slowdown in the Chinese economy, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.
China’s largest gaming company is asking marketing executives to control their cash flow and curtail spending to “endure the hard times together,” according to the letter sent to executives a few days ago. Games that don’t yet have government licenses, for example, will have to return their unspent money to the group. Jane Yip, a spokeswoman for Tencent, declined to comment on any potential budget cuts.
China’s gaming industry, which generates more than $30 billion of revenue, has been hammered this year after regulators froze the approval process for new games, preventing companies from making money from their hit titles. The move has thrown Tencent into disarray, leading to its first profit drop in at least a decade and the evaporation more than $200 billion of market value since a January peak.
To cope with the challenges, the operator of the WeChat social network is cutting in half the branding budgets for some mature games if the money hasn’t already been deployed, according to the letter. Tencent’s also cutting spending on those that aren’t performing well or have had their release pushed back to next year, with unused money to be returned to the group level.
While Tencent remains a strongly profitable company, it’s total debt has soared to a record $26 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Analysts are expecting the company to record only a 24 per cent rise in revenue for the third quarter when it reports earnings on Nov. 14, the slowest growth in more than three years.
Tencent distributes its own games as well as those from others.
Source: Economic Times