Tencent, the maker of WeChat, has announced that it will pay $500 million for a 28% stake in CJ Games. The transaction will make Tencent the third-largest investor in the South Korean gaming company and help it expand its mobile gaming business worldwide. Tencent is currently China’s largest integrated online game company.
The investment in CJ Games, which will acquire online and mobile game portal Netmarble as part of the deal, is the latest in a series of moves Tencent has made to bolster its competitive position against Alibaba as the latter company prepares for its highly anticipated initial public offering on the U.S. stock market.
In the last three months, Tencent has taken a 15% stake in JD.com, one of China’s largest e-commerce companies and an Alibaba competitor, launched a mobile open platform for developers, and invested $195 million in logistics firm China South City. Other rivals include Baidu, the maker of China’s largest search engine, and Sina.
In a statement, Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said “CJ Games is a leading game developer and publisher in Korea and overseas with multiple hit titles in its portfolio. Our partnership combines CJ Games‟ unrivalled game development skills and mobile game line-up, together with Tencent‟s strong game publishing and operation capabilities in China.”