In early 2021, Tencent appeared to have dodged the worst of Beijing’s crackdown on Big Tech, a regulatory campaign that has hamstrung operations at many of China’s biggest firms. But then, in July, regulators blocked Tencent’s $5.3 billion bid to merge two of its video game streaming companies on antitrust grounds. Meanwhile, the same week that regulators blocked Tencent’s merger plans, Beijing’s antitrust watchdog approved Tencent’s bid to take China search giant Sogou private for $3.5 billion. The precarious and unpredictable regulatory environment helped send Tencent’s shares tumbling 27% from January to July. But Tencent’s performance has remained strong. The company reported $20.6 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, up 25% from the year before.
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