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Tencent to buy 20% stake in China's Craigslist

Tencent Holdings, China's biggest listed tech firm, will buy a 20 percent stake in online classifieds company 58.com for $736 million as the company looks to boost its presence in the e-commerce business.

The JD.com website is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s on top of an Apple iPad displaying the Tencent Holdings Ltd. website.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The JD.com website is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s on top of an Apple iPad displaying the Tencent Holdings Ltd. website.

Tencent, known for its mobile messaging app WeChat, has already spent more than $1.2 billion in areas such as e-commerce, real estate and digital mapping since the beginning of 2014. Its many investments include a March tie-up with JD.com.

The deal will help 58.com, dubbed the Craigslist of China, to draw more traffic by clubbing its services with Tencent's online sites such as QQ, Weixin, QQ.com, and QQ browser, the companies said on Friday.

58.com's ADSs, which fell as much as 7 percent in early trade, recovered later to be up 2.6 percent.

Tencent will buy 36.8 million Class A and B ordinary shares of 58.com for $20 per share, which corresponds to $40 per American Depositary Share (ADS).

58.com will use part of the proceeds to buy back about 28 million shares from existing pre-IPO shareholders.

Read MoreAlibaba vs. Tencent: Who is winning in China?

58.com's shares were trading at $53.60 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have nearly doubled in value since listing in October.

—By Reuters

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