China ticketing platform Maoyan raises $150 million from Tencent

BEIJING (Reuters) - Maoyan, one of China’s biggest online ticketing platforms, on Wednesday said it has secured 1 billion yuan ($150.82 million) in funding from internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, valuing the company at 20 billion yuan.

The deal comes after Maoyan and Tencent-backed Beijing Weiying Technology Co struck a merger deal in September to create a movie ticketing giant.

Tencent’s additional investment in the newly created entity points to heated competition with rival ticketing app Taopiaopiao owned by tech behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Tencent did not immediately reply when contacted by Reuters for comment.

China is the world’s second largest movie market, where nearly 80 percent of consumers buy tickets from online platform, according to Big Data Research.

Maoyan, which says it controls 65 percent of China’s online movie ticket market, is also considering an IPO, its spokesman said, though he declined to give a timeline or the planned venue for listing.

Reporting by Pei Li and Adam Jourdan