Chinese internet giant Tencent, the maker of WeChat and QQ, has invested $50 million in Canadian messaging app Kik for an undisclosed amount of stake at a valuation north of $1 billion USD. The investment is part of the company’s D series funding which totaled $120.5 USD million.

Kik’s CEO, Ted Livingston, mentioned in a public letter that the company has been seeking strategic partner for some time. Impressed by what Tencent has been able to do in China with mobile messaging and other services like shopping, music and games, the Kik team expects the new investment will be able boost its competitiveness and emulate WeChat’s success in North America.

Kik is experimenting with a WeChat-like model by launching a trial product Jam to connect fans of top artists.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.