Reddit raises 300 mln Dollars in funding round led by China's Tencent

Reddit Inc on Monday confirmed a new funding round that included a US$150 million investment by Chinese technology behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), prompting concerns that "the front page of the Internet" might wind up censored.

"Reddit is now funded by Chinese investors, so let's remember that President Xi Jinping is so insecure in a meme that he banned Winnie the Pooh nationwide", wrote Redditor kproxurworld, referring to China's ban on the A. A. Milne character after people claimed the character held a physical resemblance to Xi Jinping. Other sites that are blocked include Twitter and Facebook.

The free speech campaign by Reddit users may ensure that remains the case for some time.

The 14-year-old social platform has roughly 330 million monthly active users and had an average of 1 billion views of natively hosted video last year, thanks to a recent redesign, according to the company.

Most analysts agree that it is unlikely Tencent or any other such investor would be able to control what content is posted on the site but that hasn't stopped a stream of memes and protest messages appearing in the past few days.

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Images of the storybook bear were reportedly banned online in China after bloggers used them to represent Xi in posts.

According to Steve Huffman, the CEO of Reddit, Tencent's advantages in video games are part of the reason the two companies work together.

For example, Reddit user ChristopherVDV posted an image of Winnie the Pooh criticizing the investment.

The Chinese government uses a number of technical measures to block foreign Internet companies. Chinese tech giant Tencent, the parent company of China's largest social network WeChat, is the lead investor, contributing half of the total financing. Last week reports said that Tencent would be investing $150m (£115m) into the platform.

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