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Business deals

Tencent leads Kuaishou’s $3bn pre-IPO funding

Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng Capital also joins in to support short-video app platform

A Chinese mobile phone user uses the Kuaishou app of short video platform Kwai Technology in Ji'nan city, east China's Shandong province.   © AP

BEIJING -- Tencent has poured another $2 billion into short-video app Kuaishou in a pre-IPO fundraising that brought in a total of $3 billion for the short-video app, Chinese business media LatePost reported.

The new funds value the company at roughly $28.6 billion. Yunfeng Capital, backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, also participated in the fundraising, as the e-commerce conglomerate accelerates its investments in live-streaming to boost its online retail business. Boyu Capital, Temasek Holdings and Sequoia Capital are also among the investors.

After the completion of the deal, expected by the end of this month, longtime backer Tencent would own 20% of Kuaishou, according to the LatePost report.

As part of the deal, Tencent and Kuaishou have been in talks over potential partnerships on their gaming-centric business. The two reportedly had a plan to form a joint venture focusing on gaming and entertainment content, but this plan might have changed into a cooperation contract. No other details have been disclosed.

Kuaishou is the main Chinese rival to ByteDance’s short-form video and live-streaming app Douyin. The company wants to increase its number of daily active users to 300 million before the Lunar New Year on Jan. 25, from the current 200 million.

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei has a minority stake in 36Kr.

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