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Tencent overtakes Alibaba as China's most valuable tech company

Tencent, the owner of popular social messaging app WeChat, overtook e-commerce giant Alibaba to become China's most valuable technology company on Thursday.

Data compiled by spreadbettor IG showed Tencent's market capitalization was at 1.9103 trillion Hong Kong dollars, or around $246.35 billion, at 10:40 a.m. HK/SIN, compared with U.S.-listed Alibaba's market capitalization of $242.04 billion.

Crossing that Rubicon followed Tencent on Wednesday soundly trouncing forecasts for its second quarter earnings amid strong growth in mobile gaming and advertising.

Total revenue for the second quarter came in at 35.69 billion yuan ($5.38 billion), jumping 52 percent on-year and beating a Thomson Reuters poll of analysts forecasting revenue of 33.2 billion yuan. Operating profit was at 14.33 billion yuan, up 43 percent from the year-earlier period.

Monthly active user accounts on Tencent's social WeChat/Weixin platform jumped 34 percent on year to 806 million.

That sent Hong Kong-listed shares of Tencent up 5.08 percent in morning trade on Thursday, pushing its market capitalization ahead of Alibaba's. On a year-to-date basis, Tencent is also the best-performing stock on Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, up 26.56 percent.

Analysts responded warmly to the earnings, offering a round of target price increases, citing Tencent's bet on dominating the online and mobile gaming space.

On-line gaming produced the bulk of the company's second quarter revenue. That segment's revenue...