China’s internet giants are gearing up for some serious spending. Tencent, the gaming and social network giant behind WeChat, is now in talks with five banks to raise a $2 billion USD syndicated loan, according to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.
News of the financing comes five months after the company secured a $1.5 billion dollar loan, and just one month after fellow internet powerhouse Alibaba announced a $3 billion USD syndicated bank loan.
Tencent and Alibaba have continued their expansion both locally and abroad with a spate of large investments in hotly contested sectors including ride-sharing, entertainment, finance and on-demand services.
Both companies are said to be participating in an imminent $1.5 billion USD funding round for market-leading ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing (formerly Didi Kuaidi). Tencent backed a $3.3 billion USD investment in on-demand services firm Meituan-Dianping last year, while Alibaba has since sold their stake in Meituan-Dianping to back their own on-demand empire.
This week Alibaba and their financial affiliate, Ant Financial, revealed a deal to invest $1.25 billion USD in food delivery app Ele.me, which will share resources with Alibaba’s other big bet in the industry, on-demand firm Koubei.
Tencent’s new loan could also be targeted at another core market rivalry: finance. Tencent is the largest shareholder in WeBank, the online banking affiliate that competes directly with Alibaba’s Ant Financial. Both companies have make aggressive strides into payments, personal banking and data-backed credit systems, working on both personal and enterprise financing.
Five banks will underwrite the loan which is expected to close by next month (the same banking partners as the previous $1.5 billion USD round), Bank of China, ANZ, HSBC, Citigroup and Mizuho Financial Group.