Tencent Holdings, one of China's largest online social messaging and entertainment companies, has led a 1.4 billion U.S.-dollar investment in Flipkart Group, an e-commerce firm in India together with Microsoft and eBay.
It is Tencent's second large-scale investment in the country within a year, following its joint 1.4 billion US-dollar investment with manufacturing firm Foxconn Technology Group in messaging app Hike last August.
Tencent did not give a breakdown of the deal. But the company's president Martin Lau said it enables Tencent to become a strategic partner of Flipkart.
“This strategic partnership enables Tencent to participate in the exciting opportunities in e-commerce and payments in India. We look forward to helping Flipkart to deliver compelling experiences to users throughout India, and to contribute to the development of the Internet ecosystem there,” said Lau.
Launched in 2007, Flipkart is regarded as India's leading e-commerce platform. It offers 80 million products across 80 categories.
E-commerce sales in India are forecast to rise from 10 billion US dollars in 2015 to 47 billion US dollars in 2020, according to U.S. research group eMarketer.