Fenqile, one of China’s leading student micro-loan startups, is in talks with Tencent hoping to seal their next round of investment, according to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal. The latest round could potentially value the young company at the $1 billion USD mark. 

The site offers loans to college students who are then able to pay them back over monthly installments. Its one of a handful of up and coming micro-loan startups, including Qufenqi, who received $200 million USD in funding led by Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial. 

While no details have yet been released, it’s possible Fenqile had been in Tencent’s sights for some time. The student loan company was founded by a former Tencent employee and received an undisclosed strategic investment from JD.com, the popular e-commerce platform in which Tencent owns a stake. 

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com