China: Tencent, one of China’s largest Internet companies, will spend 1.17 billion yuan ($187 million) for a 11.3% stake in NavInfo, one of the China’s largest mapping companies. Best known abroad as the developer of WeChat, Tencent’s products in China include a large range of consumer mobile products and NavInfo will help power its location-based services.
The deal is notable because Tencent’s rival Alibaba Group, which is prepping for its massive IPO, recently bought mobile mapping provider AutoNavi, one of NavInfo’s main competitors. Tencent will buy 78 million shares from NavInfo’s owner, state-run China Siwei Surveying and Mapping Technology. The deal will make Tencent the second-largest shareholder of NavInfo.
In March, Tencent bought about 20% stake in Dianping, China’s Yelp-like website, to boost its business in location-based services. The latest move will further strengthen Tencent’s mapping apps, streetview products, and Lubao Box, a navigation device for drivers.