Tencent and other big Chinese tech firms are often victims of biased journalism. Photo: AFP

Chinese internet giant Tencent said Thursday its revenue climbed 29% in the third quarter of this year, spurred by gaming and advertising as coronavirus lockdowns keep users indoors and online.

The Shenzhen-based parent company of WeChat said revenues rose to RMB 125.4 billion (US$18.9 billion) year-on-year, while net profit increased to RMB 38.5 billion in the third quarter.

It hailed revenue growth in smartphone games, including the latest installment of its battle arena game League of Legends.

Third-quarter revenue from fintech and business services increased by 24% to RMB 33.2 billion year-on-year due to higher revenues from commercial payment and wealth management, it said.

Tencent also noted that “overall China advertising activity appears to have largely returned to normal,” after months of stringent lockdown measures imposed to combat the virus.

But the better-than-expected results came as Chinese regulators cast gloom over the biggest e-commerce stretch of the year by announcing draft antitrust rules that signal a possible crackdown on high-flying internet giants.

Regulators in Shanghai and Hong Kong earlier this month halted the enormous IPO of fintech giant Ant Group, whose parent company Alibaba is Tencent’s rival.

According to Bloomberg, Tencent executives will hold a conference call seeking to reinforce perceptions that Tencent “isn’t in the same boat as” Ant.

Tencent’s messaging platform WeChat also faced challenges in operating in the United States, where it has about 19 million active daily users.

The Trump administration had ordered a ban on WeChat downloads, which was later blocked by a US judge.

While many companies are being hammered by the economic fallout of the pandemic, tech firms worldwide including Apple and Amazon have seen strong demand for their products.