China: Internet giants Tencent, Baidu inject $1b in auto portal Bitauto

A man uses a mobile phone in front of a logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2015 in Beijing, China, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

Auto portal Bitauto Holdings Ltd has recently raised $1 billion from Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Inc as it seeks to be China’s largest online car financing platform, its chief told Reuters on Thursday.

William Li, who is also chairman of electric vehicle startup Nio, did not elaborate on the fundraising.

It is the latest in a series of investments Bitauto has raised from three of China’s biggest technology companies.

Chinese traditionally avoid taking out loans to buy cars, although consultancy Deloitte expects that to change with 50 percent of cars to be bought on credit in China by 2020 as automakers aggressively push financing to increase sales.

In the United States, more than 80 percent of cars are bought on credit.

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