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Tencent invests USD 175 million in Philippine’s payment company to compete with Alibaba
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has announced, last week, that Tencent and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) have invested USD 175 million to PLDT's innovative payment subsidiary, Voyager Innovations Inc.
Voyager was founded in 2013 with digital wallet "PayMaya", remittance service "Smart Padala", lending platform "Lendr", and enterprise solutions "PayMaya Business".
Up to now, it is the biggest investment in the Philippines tech industry. The deal is expected to close in 4Q of 2018, with PLDT still a big shareholder in Voyager Innovations.
This investment shows that Tencent is finally starting to catch up with Ant Financials layout in the Philippines. In the previous, Voyager's biggest competitor, Globe Telecom's fintech subsidiary Mynt received an investment from Ant Financial.
A comparison of Tencent and Alibaba's layout in Southeast Asia reveals that, Alibaba owns e-commerce firm Lazada and has invested in Tokopedia, Indonesia's largest e-commerce platform.
In addition to invest in Mynt, Ant Financial has invested in Thailand's fintech company Ascend Finance, Malaysian highway tolls' wallet subsidiary, a joint venture with Indonesia's Emtek to launch wallet "Dana", and Singaporean cross-border payments firm M-Daq.
As for Tencent, it is a major shareholder in Go-Jek and e-commerce Shopee, but has done little in the payment world other than to explore making WeChat payments available in Malaysia, which has a large Chinese population.
Overall, the layout of Alibaba is much better than that of Tencent, and the pace is much faster. Tencent still has a long way to go in Southern Asia.
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