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Tencent Buys $448 Million Stake in Sohu Unit to Win Users

Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s largest Internet company, paid $448 million for a stake in China’s third-largest search engine to expand its Web offerings in the world’s largest market.

Tencent bought a 36.5 percent stake in Sohu.com Inc.’s Sogou search unit with an option to increase the investment to 40 percent, according to a joint statement by the companies yesterday. Sohu will remain the controlling shareholder.