Smartphone games and digital content have helped Tencent lift its total revenues 55 per cent to US$7.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016.

Yesterday the WeChat owner reported profit increased 57 per cent to US$2.08 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Revenue from smartphone games was $1.88 billion, a 57 per cent increase on the year earlier, driven by the success of games such as Honour of Kings, CF Mobile and Dragon Nest Mobile.

Monthly active users of WeChat increased 23 per cent year-on-year to 938 million.

Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent said, “We delivered a strong set of operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2017. Financially, our smartphone games, payment related services, digital content subscriptions, PC games and social advertising businesses all contributed to our broad-based revenue growth.”

“Operationally, our entertainment services benefitted from the Chinese New Year holiday, and several of our products achieved notable growth during the quarter. These include our video platform which featured popular original content, as well as newer products such as our karaoke app WeSing, our photo editing app Pitu, and our mobile games such as Honour of Kings.

“We will continue to invest in new technologies, quality content and innovative products to bring increasingly better experiences to our users.”

During an earnings call following the release of Tencent’s financial results, Ma commented on the growth of the company’s online lending business, WeBank.

WeBank partners with different banks to offer loans to consumers and said it uses “big data analysis” to mitigate risk when lending.

“We have been building WeBank on a continuous basis and I think its flagship product is seeing good traction. So we are able to sort of leverage our big data capability as well as our ubiquitous touch point with users to offer these consumer loans on a very convenient basis to users and it’s growing at a nice rate,” Ma said.

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