Reddit raises $300M in financing round led by China's Tencent

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

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.

"Reddit is now funded by Chinese investors, so let's remember that President Xi Jinping is so insecure in a meme that he banned Winnie the Pooh nationwide", wrote Redditor kproxurworld, referring to China's ban on the A. A. Milne character after people claimed the character held a physical resemblance to Xi Jinping.

Reddit, which plans to raise $300 million to facilitate and support the company's operations, will receive half of it from Tencent.

Much of that criticism has come from Reddit users. "Tencent has invested in hundreds of companies and there's been little involvement or interest from China's state apparatus", said Reynolds via BBC.

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

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The investment from a China-based company, news of which started making the rounds around five days ago, quickly ignited censorship fears on Reddit, which calls itself the "front page of the internet". The push appears to be achieving results, with the company's ad revenue reportedly exceeding $100 million for the first time a year ago.

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

One popular post by FreeSpeechWarrior featuring an image of a man stopping tanks in Tiananmen Square was up-voted on the site more than 200,000 times.

Still, the level of Tencent's proposed funding falls far short of full control.

Taipei-based independent tech analyst Sam Reynolds said while some scepticism of Chinese technology firms was "warranted", Tencent did not pose any risk to Reddit. Mr Reynolds added that Reddit "simply isn't on the radar of censors".

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