Caixin
Apr 03, 2018 02:41 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

Shanda Invests $9.4 Million in Kakao Games

Shanda Games received a 3 billion yuan investment in February from Tencent Holdings Ltd. Photo: VCG
Shanda Games received a 3 billion yuan investment in February from Tencent Holdings Ltd. Photo: VCG

Chinese online-game developer Shanda Games said on Monday that it has invested 10 billion South Korean won ($9.42 million) into South Korean online gaming company Kakao Games.

Shanda Games made the investment through its South Korea-based subsidiary, Actoz Soft.

An affiliate company of Shanda, Diandian Interactive Holding, which is owned by Shanda’s controller, Century Huatong Group, has also invested 10 billion won in Kakao Games, Shanda said.

Shanda’s investment followed that of Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., which poured 50 billion won in Kakao Games to become the company’s second-largest shareholder, according to earlier media reports.

Tencent holds a 3 billion yuan ($478 million) stake in Shanda after a strategic investment announced in February. The two companies said they will cooperate in game development, distribution and other businesses. 

Kakao Games, the gaming unit of South Korea’s largest messaging app operator, Kakao Corp., unveiled in February the 140 billion won fundraising plan from a group of investors led by Tencent. The company is valued at about 840 billion won in the funding round.

The joint investment with Shanda reflects Tencent’s ambition to expand its footprint in the overseas gaming and social media market. Tencent operates China’s most popular messaging app, WeChat.

As of May, Kakao Corp.’s chatting app, Kakao Talk, had 220 million registered users in South Korea — about 84% of the country’s total population.

Tencent holds a 13.84% stake in Kakao Corp. following a 72 billion won investment in 2012.

Tencent in recent years has stepped up its expansion in the global online game market with investments in U.S. game developers Riot Games Inc., Epic Games Inc. and Activision Blizzard Inc. In 2016, Tencent bought the majority of Finland-based “Clash of Clans” mobile-game-maker Supercell for $8.6 billion.

This story has been updated to correct a headline to state $9.4 million. 

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com)

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