Chinese language web titan Tencent is divesting its huge portfolio. On Tuesday, the corporate introduced plans to dump greater than $3 billion price of shares in Sea, a Singaporean web conglomerate, trimming its stake in Sea from 21.3% to 18.7% and bringing its voting rights beneath 10%.
The transfer got here lower than a month after Tencent determined at hand $16 million of its inventory in JD.com to its shareholders. The transition would decrease Tencent’s place in JD.com to round 2.3%. As a part of the deal, Martin Lau, Tencent president and CEO Pony Ma’s prime lieutenant, would retire from JD.com’s board.
Chinese language e-commerce operator JD.com and Singaporean leisure and e-commerce group Sea are a few of Tencent’s most vital strategic bets. Earlier than the rise of Pinduoduo, which can be backed by Tencent, JD.com was Tencent’s important protection towards Alibaba’s rising e-commerce empire. By Sea’s video video games operator Garena, Tencent-owned titles have established footprints throughout Southeast Asia.
Tencent made these latest divestments towards a backdrop of China’s antitrust crackdown and a marketing campaign on “widespread prosperity.” Hypothesis is thus rife that Tencent is voluntarily dismantling its ironclad alliance to be within the authorities’s good graces. This argument may clarify Tencent’s Christmas current to shareholders — its JD.com inventory distribution. In an analogous reply to the federal government’s effort to curb large tech’s affect, Alibaba is weighing a sale of about 30% of its share in Twitter-like Weibo to a state conglomerate, Bloomberg reported final month.
The rationale behind Tencent’s sale of Sea shares appears much less clear. Some buyers counsel it might be linked to India’s toughening stance on Chinese language investments. Shopee, Sea’s e-commerce arm, has been gearing as much as crack the Indian market.
Regardless of its willingness to cut back its affect over different tech giants, Tencent has not slowed down its total funding tempo. The 23-year-old agency has invested in over 1,200 corporations thus far, in keeping with IT Juzi, a Chinese language startup information aggregator. In 2021 alone, it deployed greater than 130 billion yuan ($20 billion) throughout 278 corporations, setting a file excessive. It stays to be seen whether or not Tencent will reduce its affect over different main allies, together with the likes of meals supply platform Meituan, video sharing website Bilibili and Pinduoduo.