Tencent delivers an unexpected dividend of $ 16.4 billion to its shareholders

December 23, 2021


By Sophie Yu y Scott Murdoch

BEIJING / HONG KONG, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Video game and social media company Tencent will pay a dividend of $ 16.4 billion, distributing most of its stake in JD.com, a factor that weakens its ties with the trading company. electronic and raises questions about your plans with respect to other businesses.

The decision comes as Beijing is driving a wave of regulatory pressure against technology companies, limiting its growth ambitions abroad and the domestic concentration of market power.

Tencent said on Thursday that it will transfer HK $ 127.69 billion ($ 16.37 billion) of its stake in JD.com to shareholders, reducing its stake in China’s second-largest e-commerce company to 2.3% since around the year. 17% current.

The WeChat owner, who first invested in JD.com in 2014, said it is the right time to divest as the firm has reached a stage where it can self-finance its growth.

This year, Chinese regulators obstructed Tencent’s $ 5.3 billion proposed merger of the country’s two major video game streaming sites, and ordered it to end exclusive music copyright deals. Furthermore, it revealed that WeChat illegally transferred user data.

The company is one of the few tech giants to dominate China’s internet space and have historically prevented rivals’ links and services from being shared across their platforms.

Shares of JD.com fell 11.2% in the Hong Kong session on Thursday, the biggest daily percentage decline since its debut in June 2020, before closing down 7%. Shares of Tencent, Asia’s most valuable trading company, rose 4.2%.

(Additional reporting by Xie Yu, Selena Li, Donny Kwok and Eduardo Baptista in Hong Kong and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)