“The discussions we have had [with Tencent] relate to global expansion. Being a retail-led company, they see the value proposition we are delivering to retailers and how that can be expanded in more countries.”
The $300 million investment, built up over the past five weeks via on-market purchases after the Afterpay share price was felled when the coronavirus struck, will be followed by collaboration on technology, both companies said in the announcement on Friday.
Tencent processes a billion transactions each day and has a 39 per cent market share of third-party mobile payment volumes in China. which are linked to a wide array of its technology investments including retail platforms, music streaming and video gaming services, auction sites and the retailer JD.com.
Earlier this year, its key competitor in China, Ant Financial, took a minority stake in European “buy now, pay later” leader Klarna, in which Commonwealth Bank is also an investor.
‘Changes the landscape’
Afterpay’s other co-founder, Nick Molnar, said Tencent “brings a new level of experience on how to scale a payment infrastructure globally, and as we improve our relationships with retailers, it provides immense opportunity in other markets where they are prevalent”.
Tencent could provide Afterpay, which offers instalment payments, with a new funding source if that was needed, and help the Australian company crack markets to the north, said Bell Potter analyst Lafitani Sotiriou.
“We now consider Hong Kong, and possibly a collaboration for mainland China, as new possibilities. These markets are difficult to