Tencent invests $150m in Reddit sparking free speech protests across the site

Tencent invests $150m in Reddit sparking free speech protests across the site

In the past, Chinese authorities have blocked information related to the crackdown against protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on the anniversary of the event.

Steve Huffman, Reddit's co-founder and CEO, told CNBC that Tencent's investments in video games - a popular content category on Reddit - is part of what brought the companies together.

Tencent usually targets overseas gaming companies for its investments, but recently it has started to bet on other social media platforms.

Reddit plans to use the funding to expand internationally and grow its ad platform.

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.

Some Reddit users are concerned that adding Chinese blood to the website might result in a cleansing of anti-China comments in the Reddit community.

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Winnie the Pooh's image is banned in China because users have mocked the character's resemblance to China's President Xi Jinping.

Reddit was cofounded by Alexis Ohanian, husband of tennis superstar Serena Williams.

Reddit has been on a roll lately, growing its audience to 330 million monthly active users generating 14 billion page views in 2018. 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.

"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 a year ago", said Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman.

Reddit is also known for "ask me anything" sessions with well-known people such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former U.S. president Barack Obama.

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