Reddit With New Chinese Blood? Tencent is Now its Lead Investor

Reddit Raises $300 Million At $3 Billion Valuation, With Tencent Among Backers

Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested 150 million US dollars in American online forum site Reddit, with the social news aggregator confirming Monday that it attracted 300 million USA dollars in a fundraising round that values the company at more than three billion US dollars. Reddit is ranked among the most visited United States websites and has more than 138,000 "communities" for discussions on various topics.

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)]".

Some media later suggested that the investment created "a great deal of confusion", as Reddit is now blocked in China. Meanwhile, Reddit heavily advocates for the freedom of speech on the Internet.

The 14-year-old social platform has roughly 330 million monthly active users and had an average of 1 billion views of natively hosted video last year, thanks to a recent redesign, according to the company. Last week reports said that Tencent would be investing $150m (£115m) into the platform. And China-based messaging apps like WeChat (owned by Tencent) and other social media services are restricted.

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They include video of the Tiananmen Square protest and pictures comparing President Xi Jinping to the portly Winnie the Pooh.

Reddit Chief Executive Officer Steve Huffman told CNBC today that "one of the things that's been very important to us is that we can now assure advertisers that you are going to have a positive experience on Reddit and potentially even a new experience, a new way of connecting with customers".

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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