China-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. has acquired a 5% stake (8,167,544 shares) in Tesla for an aggregate price of $1,777,842,836 (including commission), according to a Schedule 13G form filed by Tesla with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Tencent acquired the shares through Tesla’s latest registered offering of common stock (17 March 2017, earlier post) and through open market purchases.
Founded in November 1998, Tencent, best known for its WeChat app, is a leading provider of Internet value added services (such as social networks and online gaming, representing the majority of the company’s revenue), online advertising services, and online payment in China.
Tencent also just signed a $4.65-billion loan deal, Reuters reported. Tencent reported net profit of $5.97 billion last year, up 43% on a 48% increase in revenue.
In 2015, Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd., Tencent and China Harmony Auto Holding began a partnership to develop connected, electric cars. In January 2016, they formed a joint venture company, Harmony Futeng Internet & Intelligent Electric Vehicle New Energy Company Limited, led by Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, formerly the VP of Engineering and Head of the i8 vehicle program at BMW.