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China's Tencent buys audiobook platform Lazy Audio for $417 million

FILE PHOTO: A Tencent sign is seen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

(Reuters) - China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group said on Friday it acquired audiobook platform Lazy Audio, owned by Shenzhen Lanren Online Technology Co, for 2.7 billion yuan ($417 million).

The deal will be largely paid through cash and Lazy Audio’s management team will get post-acquisition equity-settled awards, Tencent said.

The acquisition comes at a time when the music streaming site is looking to bolster its content library in order to put it behind a paywall and add more paid users.

Lazy Audio’s platform, founded in 2012, hosts Chinese comedy, podcasts and radio shows apart from audiobooks. Its revenue comes from pay-per-title sales, subscriptions and ads.

The companies expect to close the deal in the first half of 2021.

($1 = 6.4739 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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