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How Tencent Is Increasing Its Presence in India


Mar. 5 2018, Updated 3:10 p.m. ET

Tencent and Alibaba have increased their investments in India

Chinese (MCHI) technology giants Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) and Alibaba (BABA) have spent billions of dollars on acquiring stakes in Asian startups, emulating Japanese company Softbank’s model.

Both companies have invested a lot of money in Indian startups across the border. Alibaba has acquired stakes in the country’s leading mobile wallet company, PayTM, logistic startup XpressBees, and online grocer BigBasket. AliBaba-backed Ant Financial has a stake in food-technology startup Zomato.

Meanwhile, Tencent investments in India (EPI) include WhatsApp’s competitor Hike Messenger, Amazon’s rival Flipkart, ride-hailing company Ola, education startup BYJU’s, and medical platform Practo.

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Tencent is leading a $115 million investment in Gaana

Tencent has now agreed to lead a $115 million investment in Gaana, India’s largest music streaming platform. Gaana offers a subscription offering like Spotify, and a free, ad-based subscription. India has witnessed more affordable data plans recently, which could drive more subscribers to streaming services such as Gaana. The music streaming service company plans to deploy this new capital into AI (artificial intelligence) to develop a more personalized service for users.

Tencent’s music streaming and karaoke services are handled by its subsidiary Tencent Music Entertainment. In December 2017, the music arm of the company had a deal with Spotify to swap shares. Tencent Music Entertainment is expected to go public later this year.


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