Newsdeck

Newsdeck

China’s Tencent Invests in Reddit, Sparking Free Speech Protests

(FILE) - Steve Huffman CEO of Reddit speaks on the third day of the 7th Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, 08 November 2017 (reissued 02 August 2018). Social media site Reddit was breached in June after multiple staff accounts were comprimised and used to gain access to databases. EPA-EFE/MIGUEL A. LOPES

Reddit Inc. said Monday that it raised $300 million from investors. It was one backer, in particular, that drew condemnation from members of Reddit’s online community.

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. was among the investors in the round, which values the link-sharing website at $3 billion. A report last week by technology website TechCrunch signaled Tencent’s interest.

In the following days, users posted links to Reddit depicting imagery banned by Chinese censors. They include video of the Tiananmen Square protest and pictures comparing President Xi Jinping to the portly Winnie the Pooh. Reddit users swarmed several of the submissions, pushing them to the list of most popular posts.

Steve Huffman, the chief executive officer of Reddit, said Tencent’s expertise in video games is part of what drew the two companies together. “Video games are one category that’s really popular on Reddit,” Huffman told CNBC.

Spokeswomen for Reddit and Tencent declined to comment on the outcry from users. Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity Investments and Sequoia Capital were among the other investors in the round.

Reddit has an outspoken community that has used the company’s own website to protest against its actions in the past. The site has long been banned in China, according to researcher GreatFire.org. The free speech campaign by Reddit users may ensure that remains the case for some time. DM

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options