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

14 February 2019

US social media site Reddit Inc. said Monday it has raised 300 million USA dollars in Series D round led by China's internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., which pushed the company's market valuation to 3 billion dollars.

Founded in 2005 by two University of Virginia students, Reddit has continued to attract a loyal user base despite its relatively simple format, where users are invited to discuss just about any topic on more than 150,000 "sub-Reddit" forums.

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

Both Snap and Reddit are banned in China, along with Facebook, Google and Twitter. But Tencent, according to Crunchbase, is an investor in 349 companies, many in the west, and there is no proof that they have ever interfered with or attempted to have a company it has invested in censor content. The Reddit platform allows users to share links on any conceivable subject, which are then up-or down-voted, meaning the most popular content surfaces to the top and is more prominent.

The Chinese government uses a number of technical measures to block foreign Internet companies.

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Tencent - which owns one of the biggest chat apps, WeChat, as well as popular games like League of Legends - values Reddit at $3 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The TechCrunch Web site reported about the funding round last week, but that information was unconfirmed until now. Chinese authorities also blocked references to the date of Tiananmen Square Massacre such as "4 June" and "six four".

Reddit users are fearing censorship when Chinese company Tencent invests $150 million into the platform.

Winnie the Pooh has also been blocked at times on Chinese social media sites as bloggers compare the cartoon character to the country's President Xi Jinping.