Tencent invests $150m in Reddit sparking free speech protests across the site

Reddit users protest Tencent's investment in the site by posting images censored by China / u/IR_Smart r/pics Reddit

Tencent has invested $150 million into Reddit, a move which has been met with criticism and protests about censorship concerns from the Chinese tech giant.

The investment accounted for half of the web company’s $300 million Series D funding round which valued Reddit at $3bn.

Tencent’s investment is the latest in its lengthy portfolio which also includes investments in Spotify, Epic Games, and Snap.

Reddit users were quick to question the move as the site is currently blocked in China due to the country’s notorious censorship laws.

To protest the move and express fears of free speech challenges on the site, Reddit users posted images which are banned in China, including the iconic Tank Man images from the Tiananmen Square massacre and pictures of Winnie the Pooh.

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

Reddit has more than 330 million average monthly active users.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.