Business / Economy

Tencent to buy large stake in mapping provider NavInfo

By MENG JING ( Updated: 2014-05-06 20:25

Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's largest Internet company by market capitalization, plans to acquire a 11.3-percent stake in the Beijing-based mapping company NavInfo for 1.17 billion yuan ($187 million).

Tencent will buy 78 million shares from NavInfo's owner, the State-run China Siwei Surveying and Mapping Technology Corp, according to a statement posted on the Shenzhen stock exchange. The deal, which is pending regulatory approval, will make Tencent the second-largest shareholder of NavInfo.

Tencent's rivals in China, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Baidu Inc, both have made headway in the mapping services industry.

Baidu Map has grown in popularity, while Hangzhou-based Alibaba, which is about to open one of the biggest initial public offerings in the United States, recently bought mobile mapping provider AutoNavi Holdings.

AutoNavi and Baidu Map began offering users free navigation services in August of last year.

In a statement issued in March, NavInfo announced the plan to bring in strategic investors. It is reported that the combined market share of NavInfo and AutoNavi is around 90 percent of the mobile mapping service market in China.

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