Tencent, Asia’s second highest valued tech firm, has bought a five percent share in Tesla. , the Chinese firm scooped up 8,167,544 shares for around $1.7 billion to become one of Tesla’s largest shareholders.

The news itself sent Tesla’s share price up three percent in pre-market trading. The purchase was arranged on March 17, and those now-Tencent-owned shares are worth around $2.2 billion at current market value.

Tencent is a prolific investor. It holds equity in Snap, this year’s hot tech IPO, among others following . While that interest in messaging makes sense since Tencent’s operates China’s dominant chat app — WeChat — it isn’t immediately clear whether the Tesla investment has strategic undertones. Others in its portfolio include Didi Chuxing, China’s largest taxi on-demand service, which and .

Disclosure of this investment comes after . The firm poached a senior machine learning researcher from rival Baidu to staff its China-based AI research lab. Google’s AlphaGo, of course, made headlines when last year.

Elsewhere, in popular photo sharing and video streaming app Kuaishou, which as soon as this year.

Tencent just had a record year of revenue growth after it . That figure was up 48 percent, representing the company’s highest revenue jump since 2012. Net profit for the year increased by 43 percent to reach $5.9 billion.

Featured Image: Darrell Etherington


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