Reddit Raises $300 Million In New Funding Round Led By Tencent 02/13/2019

Screenshot of Reddit post

Social media network Reddit Inc said on Monday it raised $300 million in its latest funding round, led by Tencent Holdings Ltd, giving it a market valuation of $3 billion.

While Reddit is not now available in China, Tencent will have noticed the emergence of Bytedance - the company behind news aggregator Toutiao and short video platform Tik Tok - as a new rival on China's tech scene. Reddit is ranked among the most visited U.S. websites, and has more than 138,000 "communities" for discussions on various topics.

Some media later suggested that the investment created "a great deal of confusion", as Reddit is now blocked in China.

Over the years it has become the fifth largest social website, ranking after Google, YouTube, Facebook and Amazon, with monthly active users of 330 million.

Steve Huffman, Reddit's co-founder and CEO, told CNBC that Tencent's investments in video games - a popular content category on Reddit - is part of what brought the companies together.

To protest the move and express fears of free speech challenges on the site, Reddit users posted images which are banned in China, including the iconic Tank Man images from the Tiananmen Square massacre and pictures of Winnie the Pooh.

Users also often photos of Winnie The Pooh to poke fun of Chinese President Xi Jinping's appearance.

Reddit is not the first USA social media platform to court investment from Tencent. The government's internet censorship regime uses a series of technical measures to block foreign platforms and controversial content. "Tencent has invested in hundreds of companies and there's been little involvement or interest from China's state apparatus", said Reynolds via BBC.

Tencent owns the all-in-one messaging app WeChat and is considered as one of the biggest gaming company in the world thanks to the ownership of the popular "League of Legends".

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