Tencent to purchase 3.65% stake in Rakuten
Tencent is to purchase a 3.65 percent stake in Rakuten in the Japanese e-commerce firm's new shares issue totaling 242 billion yen (US$2.2 billion) to boost investment in AI, finance and mobile.
Tencent would receive 57,382,900 shares under Rakuten's third-party share allotment scheme through Image Frame Investment, according to a Tokyo Stock Exchange statement filed by Rakuten on Friday.
Martin Lau, Tencent Holdings’ president and executive director, said: "We look forward to pursuing strategic cooperation across activities including digital entertainment and e-commerce, creating value for users and building the Internet ecosystem together.”
Chinese Internet giants are pursuing overseas expansion but with relatively cautious sentiment as geopolitical tensions linger.
Tencent has relatively less presence in e-commerce in China than its rival Alibaba but it has backed rising lifestyle services sites such as Meituan and Pinduoduo.
"The new potential for partnering with Tencent opens up a broad portfolio of opportunities, from digital entertainment, including online games, to e-commerce," said Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s chairman and CEO.
Rakuten will also sell an 8.32 percent stake to Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd for a logistics tie-up and a minority stake to Walmart.