Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry, United States News & Top Stories

Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry, United States News & Top Stories

Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry, United States News & Top Stories

Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested 150 million US dollars in American online forum site Reddit, with the social news aggregator confirming Monday that it attracted 300 million USA dollars in a fundraising round that values the company at more than three billion US dollars.

The round has not been without controversy given that its lead investor, Tencent, is not only a major Chinese company, a country where Reddit is banned, but also a technology provider to the "Great Firewall of China" censorship system.

It is ranked among the most visited US Web sites, and has more than 138,000 "communities" for discussions on various topics. Tencent invested $150 million. The Reddit platform allows users to share links on any conceivable subject, which are then up-or down-voted, meaning the most popular content surfaces to the top and is more prominent.

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The investment from a China-based company, news of which started making the rounds around five days ago, quickly ignited censorship fears on Reddit, which calls itself the "front page of the internet".

The Chinese government uses a number of technical measures to block foreign Internet companies.

China-based messaging services -including Tencent-owned WeChat - and social media are restricted, with key words and expressions blocked if they express dissent or ridicule senior political leaders.

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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.

Winnie the Pooh's image is banned in China because users have mocked the character's resemblance to China's President Xi Jinping.

CNBC followed up Monday morning with an interview with Reddit's CEO Steve Huffman, who told the publication that his company was continuing to build out its ads business.

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