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Tencent’s Takeover of Sogou Endorsed by China Regulator
A Tencent booth is seen at the World 5G Exhibition in 2019 in this file photo by Reuters.

China’s market regulator approves Tencent $3.5-billion takeover of US-listed search engine company Sogou

 

(AF) China’s anti-monopoly regulator has approved Tencent Holdings’s plan to take the country’s second-largest search engine, Sogou, private in a $3.5-billion deal.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) confirmed the news on Tuesday July 13.

Tencent’s stock prices jumped 5% as of noon on Tuesday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The Chinese tech giant said in July last year it intended to acquire the 60% of Sogou shares that it didn’t already own at a price of $9 per share.

Sogou listed on New York Stock Exchange in 2017, but announced last September that it had reached a privatisation deal with Tencent.

That will make it the latest Chinese company to exit US markets amid tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

The proposed acquisition stirred debate among citizens in China, as some feared that with Tencent’s support and deep pockets Sogou may monopolise the country’s search business.

But analysts said this is unlikely because Baidu has about half of the search market, while 360 also has a significant national share.

“It shows that although the government is taking action against [a] monopoly, it isn’t tarring companies with the same brush. Instead, the authorities are treating each acquisition case differently according to their own nature,” he told the Global Times.

With reporting by Reuters.

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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