Tencent invests $62.8m in Flipkart’s parent amid India-China border row

Photo: Mint

Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd has made an investment of $62.8 million in Walmart-controlled e-commerce company Flipkart, revealed the company’s latest regulatory filings in Singapore sourced by Paper.vc.

The infusion is most likely to be a part of the $1.2-billion round that was announced by Flipkart in July this year, which is being led by Walmart. With the fresh infusion, Tencent owns about 4-.5.3% in Flipkart Pte, the online retailer’s Singapore-based holding company, Paper.vc said.

According to a report in Entrackr, Walmart had already infused $660.25 million across two tranches in July while Qatar Investment Authority had also invested $8.14 million. The American retail giant currently holds about 80% stake in Flipkart.

The investment by Tencent in Flipkart comes amid the ongoing military standoff between India and China in Eastern Ladakh. Since April this year, the Indian government has been taking multiple steps to avoid Chinese investments into Indian businesses, including revision of foreign direct investment (FDI) policy. Earlier this month, India also banned 118 Chinese apps in the country, including Tencent-backed popular video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which had over 50 million players in the country. The move has stepped up pressure on Chinese technology firms that have been investing heavily in India.

Meanwhile, e-commerce companies in India are gearing up for increased competition in the online retail space with the launch of Reliance Industries’ venture JioMart. Last month, Flipkart launched its ‘wholesale’ e-commerce service, which is currently available in Bengaluru, Gurugram, and New Delhi. The company wants to expand it to 20 other cities by the end of this year. The service will directly compete with JioMart and Udaan.

Flipkart has also announced plans to hire 70,000 new employees in India ahead of the festive season this year. Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Days’, which is a four- or five-day long sale, usually starts around October to tap India’s festive season, which ends with Diwali.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.