Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry

Reddit users rebel after China-owned Tencent said to be leading funding round

Reddit users rebel after China-owned Tencent said to be leading funding round

"Given that reddit just took a $150 million investment from a Chinese censorship powerhouse, I thought it would be nice to post this picture of "Tank Man" at Tienanmen [sic] Square before our new glorious overlords decide we can not post it anymore", wrote the user "FreeSpeechWarrior".

Reddit Inc. said Monday that it raised $300 million from investors. A report last week by technology website TechCrunch signaled Tencent's interest.

Other users have also rallied around the Disney character Winnie the Pooh, banned in China for its alleged resemblance to Xi Jinping.

HKFP has reached out to Reddit and Tencent for comment.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is rumored to have contributed $150 million to USA social news and discussion platform Reddit's $300 million Series D, leading to heated discussions over the possibility of future censorship on the platform.

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

The iconic image of a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square is also among the most popular post of the week in Reddit, gaining over 200,000 upvotes in a few days.

Meanwhile, there are also other users who believe a $150 million investment does not necessarily give Tencent a controlling share in the company, considering Reddit is still valued at $2.7 billion at the time of the sale.

The list included Chinese and English words for the Cultural Revolution, Falun Gong and Taiwan independence - terms which are censored under China's Great Firewall.

"A lot of people seem to think it's a majority buyout for some reason", user Lunariel pointed out.

Regardless of how much influence Tencent will have in Reddit going forward, it's clear where Redditors stand when the topic of censorship becomes even a slight possibility.