Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Tencent’s stake in Reddit sparks worry about censorship

Reddit Raises $300 Million At $3 Billion Valuation, With Tencent Among Backers Users protest after Tencent invests in Reddit
Ginger Lawrence | 14 February, 2019, 07:12

"Given that Reddit just took a $150 million investment from a Chinese censorship powerhouse, I thought it would be nice to post this picture of Winnie-The-Pooh before our new glorious overlords decide we can not post it anymore", the post read.

That's up from a $1.8 billion valuation from the company's last funding round, which brought in a $200 million investment in 2017.

Reddit said it planned to use the money for worldwide expansion and to enhance its digital ad platform to better compete in a market where Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google take in most of the revenue.

Reddit has raised a new $300 million round of funding from investors including Tencent, Sequoia, Fidelity and Andreessen Horowitz among others.

Ironically, Reddit has been blocked in China since August (as is Google and Facebook, part of the country's "Great Firewall" of censorship).

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

Huffman said Tencent has invested in lots of video games companies, and video games are a popular category on Reddit, a social news and media aggregation company based in San Francisco, Northern California. Last week reports said that Tencent would be investing $150m (£115m) into the platform.

Founded in 2005 by University of Virginia students Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit likes to think it's the "front page of the internet".

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. Reddit is ranked among the most visited United States websites, and has more than 138,000 "communities" for discussions on various topics.

Reddit is also known for ask-me-anything sessions with well-known people such as Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates and former U.S. president Barack Obama.