Reddit has confirmed that it has raised $150 million from Tencent and $150 million in Series D funding at a $2.7 billion pre-money valuation and a $3 billion post-money valuation, according to TechCrunch.
It is ranked among the most visited US Web sites, and has more than 138,000 "communities" for discussions on various topics. Access to Reddit is blocked in China. Meanwhile, Reddit heavily advocates for the freedom of speech on the Internet.
Tencent invested $150 million, joining past Reddit investors like Sequoia, Fidelity, Tacit and Snoop Dogg, which were part of this funding round as well.
The site boasts that, on average, more than 330 million people use it each month, contending that half of those users range in age from 18 to 24 years old.
Most analysts agree that it is unlikely Tencent or any other such investor would be able to control what content is posted on the site but that hasn't stopped a stream of memes and protest messages appearing in the past few days.
Parents of kids locked in kennel jailed
Andrew Joseph Fabila and Paige Isabow Harkings, both 24, were each charged with four counts of criminal child endangerment. While speaking with a man at the property who had injuries to his face, deputies reported hearing the voices of children.
"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 user FreeSpeechWarrior. Chinese authorities also blocked references to the date of Tiananmen Square Massacre such as "4 June" and "six four". "Tencent has invested in hundreds of companies and there's been little involvement or interest from China's state apparatus", said Reynolds via BBC.
Winnie the Pooh's image is banned in China because users have mocked the character's resemblance to China's President Xi Jinping.
Reddit is not the first USA social media platform to court investment from Tencent.
Reddit Chief Executive Officer Steve Huffman told CNBC today that "one of the things that's been very important to us is that we can now assure advertisers that you are going to have a positive experience on Reddit and potentially even a new experience, a new way of connecting with customers".
Tencent operates online games and popular WeChat social media service.