Tencent Said to Invest in Chinese Live Broadcasting App Kuaishou

Tencent Boosts Spending on Payments and Content

Tencent Holdings Ltd. has agreed to invest in Chinese live broadcasting app Kuaishou ahead of a potential initial public offering of the Baidu Inc.-backed startup, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

Tencent and Kuaishou plan to announce the deal as soon as this week, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. Tencent has been boosting spending on services including video-streaming to retain users for its WeChat and QQ messaging platforms.

Kuaishou, which runs a live-streaming social media platform similar to Twitter Inc.’s Periscope and Facebook Inc.’s Instagram, was founded in 2011, its website shows. Millions of original videos are generated daily using its technology, according to the website. The company competes with Sina Corp.-backed Miaopai, which allows users to film and share brief videos.

A representative for Kuaishou declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for Tencent didn’t immediately respond to an email and mobile phone text message seeking comment.

Tencent said this week it isn’t focused on making its video businesses profitable this year. It’s looking to find ways to keep people engaged with WeChat, the messaging service with almost 900 million monthly users.

Beijing-based Miaopai, owned by Yixia Technology, closed a $500 million funding round in November with investors including Sina’s Weibo Corp. and Shanghai Media Group.