Reddit raises $300M in financing round led by China's Tencent

In the past, Chinese authorities have blocked information related to the crackdown against protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on the anniversary of the event.

Reddit said it planned to use the money for global expansion and to enhance its digital ad platform to better compete in a market where Facebook and Google now take in most of the revenue.

Reddit is now unavailable in China, as are some of Tencent's other Western media investments: The company's investment arm holds a significant stake in Snapchat's corporate parent Snap, and owns around 40% of Epic Games.

A Pooh picture, voted to near the top of the Reddit homepage, had the caption: "Since Reddit took a US$150 million investment from Chinese censorship company Tencent, please welcome our leader President Xi".

The announcement prompted criticism of Reddit for linking itself with a company from China, where the ruling Communist Party enforces extensive online censorship. Reddit is banned in China under the country's censorship laws.

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

Founded in 2005 by two University of Virginia students, Reddit has continued to attract a loyal user base despite its relatively simple format, where users are invited to discuss just about any topic on more than 150,000 "sub-Reddit" forums. "Tencent has invested in hundreds of companies and there's been little involvement or interest from China's state apparatus", said Reynolds via BBC.

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.

Reddit is also known for ask-me-anything sessions with well-known people such as Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates and former U.S. president Barack Obama.

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