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Tencent beats Apple in tech growth list

Chinese operator expected to hit $1.23bn profit this year

Chinese internet operator Tencent has come out top in an influential tech growth list, beating off iPad maker Apple.

According to Bloomberg's Business Week ranking, which considers "share performance, sales and profit growth, return on equity, and workforce increases," the business has a market cap of $42.4 billion and last year almost doubled profits to $754.7 million, with sales of $1.82 billion.

Tencent has a number of deals with Western videogame companies to operate their titles in the region, including the recently inked team-up with Crytek for its new free-to-play shooter Warface.

"Tencent worries everybody," according to Victor Koo, CEO of video-sharing site Youku.com. "It's huge."

The company is estimated to make $1.23 billion profit this year, with sales of $2.91 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

Tencent's instant messaging service QQ boasts 18 times the number of Microsoft MSN users in China.

There's still a lot of potential to grow an online business in China, according to Anthony Yiu of iProspect, as only around 30 per cent of internet users in China buy or sell goods online, with those that have used e-commerce spending on average 2400 yuan - around $360.

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