Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested 150 million US dollars in American online forum site Reddit, with the social news aggregator confirming Monday that it attracted 300 million USA dollars in a fundraising round that values the company at more than three billion US dollars.
Much of that criticism has come from Reddit users.
While it seems unlikely that Tencent and other investors would be able to control what gets posted on Reddit, it did not stop a number of users from protesting it. But Tencent, according to Crunchbase, is an investor in 349 companies, many in the west, and there is no proof that they have ever interfered with or attempted to have a company it has invested in censor content.
The investment from Tencent comes with some controversy because Reddit is blocked in China as part of the Great Firewall censorship initiative.
The platform has 330 million active users and describes itself as the "Front Page of the Internet".
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Tencent and other investors are looking to help Reddit better monetize its already large user-base, but many people have claimed that this is a massive conflict of interest for the Chinese conglomerate. The government's internet censorship regime uses a series of technical measures to block foreign platforms and controversial content.
To protest the move and express fears of free speech challenges on the site, Reddit users posted images which are banned in China, including the iconic Tank Man images from the Tiananmen Square massacre and pictures of Winnie the Pooh.
Tencent operates online games and popular WeChat social media service.
The TechCrunch website reported the funding round last week, but that information was unconfirmed until now.
Winnie the Pooh has also been blocked at times on Chinese social media sites as bloggers compare the cartoon character to the country's President Xi Jinping.