Tencent plans Singapore IPO for WeChat spinoff - report

SHANGHAI Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:24pm EDT

SHANGHAI Aug 13 (Reuters) - Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is planning to list its popular messaging app Weixin, or WeChat, as a spinoff company in Singapore, the official China Daily reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed source.

Officials at Tencent were not immediately available for comment.

China's largest online gaming and social networking firm, led by Chief Executive and Chairman Pony Ma, is set to announce its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The source told the official paper that Hong Kong-listed Tencent had opened an office in Singapore to deal with the listing, which it had originally planned to hold in Hong Kong.

Tencent, which competes with Alibaba Group, has invested heavily in the popular messaging app as it and other Chinese Internet companies try to broaden their revenue streams.

With more than 70 million users, WeChat has strong potential earning power for Tencent, although the firm is still searching for ways to monetise its popularity.

WeChat is similar to WhatsApp, Line or KakaoTalk, apps that allow users to swap messages, stickers, and voice messages over a data connection.

Tencent is more than 30 percent owned by South African media group Naspers Ltd. ($1 = 7.7556 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing Kazunori Takada)

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