Tencent denies reported WeChat IPO in S'pore

Following reports that the Chinese Internet giant plans to list its mobile messaging platform WeChat as a spin off company in Singapore, Tencent has clarified the claims are not true.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
Tencent had reportedly abandoned former plans to IPO in Hong Kong due to potential issues faced the company might face.

Tencent is reportedly planning to list its flagship mobile messaging app WeChat as a spinoff company in Singapore.

China Daily had reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, that Tencent has opened an office in Singapore to deal with the initial public offering, according to Sina.

The source however, did not disclose the name of the new entity, nor gave a timeframe of the listing.

The Chinese Internet giant had also abandoned the plan to list WeChat in Hong Kong as an "IPO of a spinoff on the same stock exchange with the same holding company as it will raise more issues for the Tencent", the source noted.

A separate listing WeChat in Singapore is  "an apparently easier choice", the source added.

However, when approached by ZDNet Asia, a Tencent spokesperson said, "This market news is not true and we have no idea where this market rumor originates from."

Tencen has already made some headway into Singapore, with the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in local game company Level Up for US$27 million last August. It had noted the investment would align well with its long term strategy to cooperate with leading local Internet companies in emerging markets.

In its Q1 2013 results released in May, the Chinese company's profit rose 37.1 percent to 4.04 billion yuan (US$660 million), due to strong growth in online gaming and advertising income.

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