Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry

Postado Fevereiro 14, 2019

San Francisco-based Reddit raised US$300 million at a US$3 billion valuation, with investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity, Sequoia and Tencent, the company's CEO told CNBC.

Some Reddit users are concerned that adding Chinese blood to the website might result in a cleansing of anti-China comments in the Reddit community. This is considerably lower than other massive platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Meanwhile, Reddit heavily advocates for the freedom of speech on the Internet.

Reddit has more than 330 million average monthly active users, with 14 billion screenviews per month, as of November 12, 2017, it said on its website.

"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.

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

It was later reported that Reddit users were unhappy with the news and flooded the site with protest messages following the reported investment. The government's internet censorship regime uses a series of technical measures to block foreign platforms and controversial content.

Tencent owns the all-in-one messaging app WeChat and is considered as one of the biggest gaming company in the world thanks to the ownership of the popular "League of Legends".

"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 Winnie-The-Pooh before our new glorious overlords decide we can not post it anymore", the post read. But Tencent, according to Crunchbase, is an investor in 349 companies, many in the west, and there is no proof that they have ever interfered with or attempted to have a company it has invested in censor content.