Tencent holdings ltd says will continue to invest in e-commerce and mobile

BEIJING, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:09am EDT

BEIJING, March 19 (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings Ltd will continue to make investments in e-commerce and mobile to improve platforms such as the WeChat mobile messaging app, company officials said on an earnings call on Wednesday.

Tencent wants to invest in "best in class" companies to build up its services, the firm said, as people increasingly use their smartphones to interact with the world around them, including shopping and booking taxis.

Tencent spent 19.1 billion yuan ($3.08 billion) on investments in 2013, up 17.6 percent from the previous year, as they poured money into expanding WeChat from a messaging service to one that can be used for shopping, making payments through a smartphone, booking restaurants and movies and investing in wealth management products.

However, Tencent said it would keep 2014 international marketing spend on WeChat at a similar level to last year, with spending focused on markets where WeChat is being used rather than breaking into new markets.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten, editing by Louise Heavens)