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

12 Février, 2019, 09:51 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Reddit users rebel after China-owned Tencent said to be leading funding round

"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 "Tank Man" at Tiananmen Square before our new glorious overlords decide we can not post it anymore", Redditor FreeSpeechWarrior wrote.

San Francisco-based Reddit raised a total of $300 million at a $3 billion valuation, with investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity, Sequoia and Tencent, the company's CEO told CNBC. A report last week by technology website TechCrunch signaled Tencent's interest.

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

"We are the only company at our scale that is still a private company, so we have had a lot of investor attention in the previous year", Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman told CNBC.

News of Tencent buying into the popular social news website, which is banned in China, prompted concerns by some users that the platform could be vulnerable to the kind of online censorship that takes place in that country.

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In the following days, users posted links to Reddit depicting imagery banned by Chinese censors.

"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 "Tank Man" at Tienanmen [sic] Square before our new glorious overlords decide we can not post it anymore", wrote the user "FreeSpeechWarrior". They include video of the Tiananmen Square protest and pictures comparing President Xi Jinping to the portly Winnie the Pooh.

Regardless of how much influence Tencent will have in Reddit going forward, it's clear where Redditors stand when the topic of censorship becomes even a slight possibility.

The site boasts that, on average, more than 330 million people use it each month, contending that half of those users range in age from 18 to 24 years old.

Tencent, which owns 15% of Snap Inc. and 40% of Fortnite creator Epic Games, has put $150 million into Reddit.

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