Tencent sees strong user increase due to COVID-19

Social media and gaming platform Tencent has reported a strong increase in users during the spread of COVID-19 in China.

The platform’s Health Code had some 900 million users and 8 billion total visits since early February. Tencent’s Health Code was the most used ePass to verify health and travel history during the outbreak, the company said in its fourth-quarter earnings call.

The platform also optimized features for its at-home schooling programs and has seen 120 million users since the outbreak began in China.

Tencent chief strategy officer James Mitchell said, due to the quarantines imposed as a result of COVID-19, the platform has seen increased usage in its music, films, short video and gaming content. In the long-term, though, Mitchell said once the situation normalizes, people will venture outside again.

Mitchell continued that during the SARS crisis, there was a clear structural change in consumer behavior, whereby people spent more time on digital entertainment, even after the health crisis subsided.

He stated: “But I want to emphasize that from our perspective that’s probably the lesser structural change. The greatest structural change will be enterprises recognizing the importance of remote working and recognize the importance of being able to stay in contact with their consumers, even if their storefronts offline are closed. And that’s why it’s so important for us that we invest the money and invest time in really making enterprise facing apps be all that they can be. We gave the example of the Tencent Meeting, video conference service that’s enjoyed spectacular growth. And that’s partly because it’s in the right place at the right time and serving a real need.”