Tecent to boost AI investment after record profits

Tecent to boost AI investment after record profits

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Tencent trumped forecasts to post its best-ever quarterly results, driven by higher income from smartphone games, payments and online advertising. The firm posted a profit of 18.23 billion yuan ($2.72 billion) in the second quarter, up 70% from a year ago, the biggest such rise in seven years. Tencent's revenue, which has been scaling new highs every quarter since 2007, surged 59% to 56.6 billion yuan. Looking ahead, Tencent said it plans to increase investment in payment services, cloud services and artificial intelligence, an area in which it is making inroads despite being a latecomer, Reuters reports. "We will be persistent but patient with our AI investment, because we believe it is a long-term initiative and we do not necessarily require our research to generate revenue directly in the short term," said Tencent President Martin Lau. All of Tencent's existing businesses would benefit from its AI research, he added, in particular its performance advertisement business, information-based services and fintech.