After a low point during the pandemic, Tencent is gradually rejuvenating itself.
On March 22, Tencent released its fourth quarter and full year 2022 financial results. According to the earnings report, full-year 2022 revenue was CNY554.6 billion and net attributable profit (non-IFRS) was CNY115.6 billion. Tencent's fourth quarter 2022 revenue was CNY145 billion, up 1% year-over-year, and net attributable profit (non-IFRS) was CNY29.7 billion, up 19% year-over-year.
This is also an improvement in Tencent's revenue year-on-year since the third quarter of 2021, after two consecutive quarters of revenue decline; from the fourth quarter of 2022, net profit returned to double-digit growth.
In the financial report, Tencent focused on technology development. Tencent said it is investing in AI capabilities and cloud infrastructure to embrace trends in underlying models, which it believes will help improve Tencent's existing products and services and explore and launch new products.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Tencent spent CNY15.9 billion on research and development, up 13.5% year-on-year, according to the financial report. Meanwhile, for the full year of 2022, Tencent's research and development spending exceeded RMB60 billion, up further from CNY51.8 billion in 2021.
For the recent public opinion hot topic of artificial intelligence big model, the executive of Tencent, Liu Zhiping said that Tencent has been investing in the field of AI for a long time, and now has enough team and technology to develop a large model product.
"We will first lay a good foundation, rather than just chasing speed." Liu said that Tencent must ensure a long-term layout in AI, and continue to optimize large multimodal model HunyuanAide (Chinese: 混元大模型), hoping that future products brought to market will be fully polished and applied to the full range of Tencent's internal business.
He believes that using AI to generate content is very beneficial for Tencent. Since Tencent's main business is social media and games, these two businesses need high-end, high-quality content to be produced, and AIGC can produce content with high efficiency.
However, Liu also believes that Tencent's business is characterized by a lot of human communication, and AI can't replace communication, so Tencent's business can't be easily undermined by AI technology.
In addition to content creation, Liu believes that AI can also help Tencent provide a better experience for users, and there will be many opportunities here. Although Tencent has invested in large models in the past, it will now accelerate its pace.