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.