Tencent invest $150m in Reddit pushing its value to $3b


Tencent Holdings Ltd. has led a $300 million funding round in the USA forum site Reddit Inc., following its 2017 investment in another rival Snap Inc.

A "Pooh" picture voted to near the top of the Reddit home page bore the caption: "Since Reddit took a US$150 million investment from Chinese Censorship company Tencent, please welcome our leader [Chinese] President Xi [Jinjing (習近平)]". Tencent invested $150 million.

Both Snap and Reddit are banned in China, along with Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Reddit has more than 330 million average monthly active users. Reddit is ranked among the most visited U.S. websites, and has more than 138,000 "communities" for discussions on various topics.

Most analysts agree that it is unlikely Tencent or any other such investor would be able to control what content is posted on the site but that hasn't stopped a stream of memes and protest messages appearing in the past few days.

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Reddit has also actively worked to clean up the platform, once flooded with trolls and inappropriate content. And China-based messaging apps like WeChat (owned by Tencent) and other social media services are restricted. Its last funding was on August 1, at a valuation of around $1.8 billion. Chinese authorities also blocked references to the date of Tiananmen Square Massacre such as "4 June" and "six four".

Images of the storybook bear were reportedly banned online in China after bloggers used them to represent Chinese President Xi Jinping in posts.

San Francisco-based Reddit raised a total of US$300 million at a US$3 billion valuation, with investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity Investments, Sequoia Capital and Tencent, chief executive Steve Huffman told CNBC.

Ever since it was founded in 2005 in Silicon Valley, Reddit is known for its online atmosphere of free speech, with user comments as its main product.