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Reddit raises $300 million in finance round led by China's Tencent

14 February 2019

Hong Kong-listed technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:) is investing $150 million in US discussion platform Reddit, according to Techcrunch that cited multiple unnamed sources. Reddit is ranked among the most visited United States 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.

Reddit is now hitting 330 million users per month across a wide range of content including politics, entertainment, technology, sports and controversial posts involving conspiracy theories and adult content. Users can vote for content using the thumbs up or thumbs down buttons.

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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 has also actively worked to clean up the platform, once flooded with trolls and inappropriate content.

In recent days Reddit users shared images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest and Winnie the Pooh in reference to concerns a tie-up with the Chinese firm would lead to stricter content controls. The push appears to be achieving results, with the company's ad revenue reportedly exceeding $100 million for the first time previous year.

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

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told CNBC news outlet that Tencent invested 150 million dollars in the latest round of fundraising, along with other investors.

It was later reported that Reddit users were unhappy with the news and flooded the site with protest messages following the reported investment.

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Reddit raises $300 million in finance round led by China's Tencent