Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Tencent will sell more than $ 3 billion worth of shares in Singapore gambling and e-commerce group Sea Ltd, less than a month after selling its stake in, the Chinese e-commerce company.

China’s most valuable technology company said once the deal was completed, its shareholding in Sea would fall from 21.3 percent to 18.7 percent. The shares sold were worth about $ 3.2 billion at the closing price on Tuesday.

In a statement, it said it would retain the “substantial majority” of its shares in Sea “for the long term” and would not sell any more shares for the next six months. It gave no reason for the sale, but said the proceeds would “finance other investments and social initiatives”.

The sale comes a month after Tencent said it would $ 16 billion worth of shares in the Chinese online shopping group to shareholders, which reduced its stake from about 17 percent to 2.3 percent.

A person close to Tencent said at the time of the move that although regulators had not asked him to sell off his investments, which analysts at Bernstein collectively value about $ 259 billion, the company is eager to show it is not “empire building”.

The company did not want to be “seen as being able to exert massive influence over a large segment of the economy forever”, the person added.

In addition to selling its stake in Sea Ltd, Tencent also said it would convert its Class B shares, which currently carry three votes each, into Class A shares at Sea’s annual general meeting in February. Following the convention, Forrest Li, Sea’s CEO, will hold all Class B shares and Tencent’s voting power in Sea will drop to less than 10 percent.

Tencent has been a major investor in Chinese technology companies, but the company has also its overseas investments expanded rapidly.

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