Chinese Internet giant Tencent has acquired 11.28% stake in NavInfo (SZ:002405), one of the leading mapping companies in China, for RMB1.173 billion (roughly $195.5 million), becoming its second largest shareholder, according to the announcement by NavInfo.

It’s not a surprising move for Tencent as location-based services have become very important in this mobile era and the company has been developing mapping apps, street-view product, among others. Today the company launched a navigation gadget for vehicles.

NavInfo is one of the veteran mapping companies in China, starting off with business-facing mapping data business. The company began shifting focus to consumer-facing products last year. Its direct competitor AutoNavi, who shifted focus earlier, has been acquired by Alibaba Group.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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