Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

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

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

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.

Much of that criticism has come from Reddit users.

Tencent invested $150 million, joining past Reddit investors like Sequoia, Fidelity, Tacit and Snoop Dogg, which were part of this funding round as well.

"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.

The free speech campaign by Reddit users may ensure that remains the case for some time.

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Founded in 2005, Reddit has consistently drawn an avid, young core user base, with 50% of its 330 million monthly active users between ages 18-24. More popular content is surfaced to the top. The government's internet censorship regime uses a series of technical measures to block foreign platforms and controversial content. Chinese authorities also blocked references to the date of Tiananmen Square Massacre such as "4 June" and "six four".

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

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.

"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", says the post - which was voted up over 37,000 times.

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