Chinese mega-investor Tencent will pour 500 billion yuan ($70bn) into emerging technology, as part of an ambitious five-year investment project.
The move follows April’s creation of a Chinese blockchain committee by the Communist Party of China. The group—of which Tencent is a member—will set standards for a new national ledger.
The company’s latest project will explore companies in “new infrastructure” tech. According to senior executive VP Dowson Tong, that includes servers, blockchain, IoT operating systems, quantum computing and 5G networks.
Tencent shares leaped 2.5% upon the news. The Shenzhen-headquartered giant is best known for the WeChat messaging app that is near-ubiquitous in China. It also looms large in gaming: today it acquired 20% of Japanese publisher Marvelous, Inc.
But Tencent, like rival Alibaba, is trying to spread its portfolio—especially during a COVID-19 crisis that it claims will increase demand for cloud services and software.
The company already has stakes in firms as varying as JD.com (17.9%), Snap (12%) and Tesla (5%). According to a Motley Fool report, Tencent stable brands have gained around $33.7bn in the past year.
“If you’re willing to purchase Chinese stocks amid the recent fear-driven sell-off, Tencent’s American depositary receipts look like quite a solid value today,” write the site’s Billy Duberstein.