Tencent, the maker of China’s ubiquitous QQ instant messaging client, has made its mark on the Chinese market and is expanding abroad by investing in foreign gaming companies. The company confirmed on a recent earnings call that it has completed its acquisition of a 49% stake in Singaporean online gaming company Level Up, as reported by Technode.

Level Up and Tencent announced the $27 million in January (PDF). The gaming company has made progress in the emerging markets of Brazil, the Philippines and India. It also operates a game publishing and magazine joint venture in the US.

In May, Tencent CEO Pony Ma said expanding into the global online games market is one of the company’s core goals. It’s also interested in improving social networking, mobile, search and commerce. The company’s GM of national ad planning reiterated the importance of gaming in a recent interview.

“We do have some international outstanding plans,” the manager said. “There are certain areas we are really putting effort on like gaming.”

Led by its QQ service, Tencent has risen to become China’s largest Internet company with a market capitalization of roughly $57 billion. In its most recent quarter, it reported $1.7 billion in revenue and $492 million in profit.

Online games brought in $875 million in revenue, roughly half of the company’s total. According to Tencent president Marlin Lau, the company has more than a 30 percent share of China’s social networking service and Web game market.

Tencent is also investing in US gaming companies. Just last month, it announced a partnership with video game giant Activision Blizzard to promote the hit game Call of Duty in China. Tencent has also acquired a minority stake in Epic Games, the maker of the Unreal Engine and “Infinity Blade”.

Image via Flickr / faykwong