Tencent’s value fell by $20 billion today due to the new video game and internet restrictions enforced by China’s Ministry of Education. The new restrictions have hindered Tencent (a now $413 billion USD company) from capitalizing on its mobile version of Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG). Tencent is a leading investor in the esports industry, with holdings in companies like Activision Blizzard and PUBG’s competitor, Fortnite’s Epic Games.
Tencent President Martin Lau stated that “from a revenue growth perspective, gaming is a key area of weakness. Our biggest game [PUBG MOBILE] is not monetizable.”
No new video game releases have been approved by the Chinese government since this past April. Monster Hunter: World was the last approved game but sales were stopped just days after the release as regulation restructuring began.
One reason for the ban is due to more than 450 million of China’s 1.37 billion population suffering from myopia. The document published by the Chinese Ministry of Education blamed the high levels of myopia on a heavy study load, mobile phones, other electronic devices, and a lack of outdoor activities and exercise.
In 2017 it was estimated that Tencent accounted for 42% of China’s mobile game market share. Tencent has lost $160 billion USD since January 2018. To put that in perspective, the entire Netflix organization is worth $162 billion USD. Tencent founder Pony Ma is #21 on Forbes richest people list. He holds a net worth of $38.3 billion USD.