Tencent reportedly invests $150M in cinema ticketing startup Maoyan

Tencent announced another impressive quarter of financials yesterday, but the Chinese internet giant — which is creeping towards a $500 billion market cap — made other financial moves this week.

Reuters reported that the firm invested $150 million Chinese cinema ticketing startup Maoyan, which was created from a merger between dominant players Maoyan and Tencent-backed Weiying this summer.

Spokespeople from Tencent and Maoyan did not confirm the investment when asked by TechCrunch.

The deal is a significant one because, like so many verticals in China, Maoyan-Tencent are taking on Alibaba, which operates rival service Taopiaopiao. The Alibaba unit works closely with sister company Alibaba Pictures, and the combination it helped the latter secure a 313 percent revenue jump in its recent earnings.

The firms are shooting for a slice of a huge market that continues to grow, too. Box office revenue from Mainland China is reportedly at 27.3 billion RMB ($4 billion) per year thanks to 11 percent annual growth, according to figures from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

The deal marks a continuation in Tencent’s recent investment flurry which has seen it put money into Snap, Indian trio Flipkart, educational startup BYJU’s and Ola, and electric vehicle firm Nio in recent months.