Tencent is in the final stages of negotiations with Kuaishou for a $2 billion investment in the short video platform’s $3 billion pre-IPO round, which would give Kuaishou a valuation of around $28.6 billion, media outlet LatePost reported.

Why it matters: In addition to promoting short video platform Weishi to gain more market share, Tencent has also been trying to leverage Kuaishou to compete with Douyin.

  • Bytedance unseated Tencent and search giant Baidu in the first half of 2019 to take the second-largest share of China’s digital ad market, trailing only e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Details: The investment, which is expected to complete by the end of December, would give Tencent a nearly 20% stake in Kuaishou.

  • The $2 billion investment is higher than the $1 billion to $1.5 billion reported in August, while the stake it would give Tencent is lower than the 30% to 40% that Tencent was pushing for at the time.
  • Other investors in the round include Alibaba-backed Yunfeng Capital, Boyu Capital, Temasek Holding, and Sequoia Capital.
  • Kuaishou and Tencent also scrapped a plan to form a joint venture focusing on video games and opted for a partnership for exclusive gaming cooperation.
  • Tencent declined to comment when contacted by TechNode on Tuesday.

Context: Kuaishou could go public in the US next year to raise funds for its fierce competition with Bytedance’s Douyin, Bloomberg reported in September.

  • Kuaishou founder Su Hua reportedly declined an offer from Tencent to acquire the short video platform, according to an earlier report from LatePost.

Tencent aims to challenge Douyin with $1.5 billion investment in Kuaishou

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com

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