Chinese Internet company Tencent revealed in its financial report for the first quarter of 2012 that the company acquired a 13.84% stake in KakaoTalk, a South Korean mobile communication application, for CNY403 million.
According to Tencent, this overseas investment was completed in April 2012. By investing CNY403 million in cash, the Chinese company gained 3.6 million preferred shares of KakaoTalk, equaling to about 13.84% of the total issued shares of the South Korean company.
KakaoTalk, which supports iOS, Android, Blackberry and Samsung's Bada platform, shares the similar functions that Tencent's WeChat has, including free text messaging, stranger social networking, and group chatting. The company boasts over 42 million registered users, while the total population of South Korea is about 50 million. It is also said that at least 10% of its users are from abroad.
Over the past few years, KakaoTalk's user group increased rapidly. However, the company made losses of CNY80 million since its founding three years ago.