— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on February 20, Thursday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
What's a little green box worth? Well, according to Facebook, more than the annual GDP of Honduras.
That's right, the social network is paying a whooping 19 billion dollars for smartphone messaging application Whatsapp.
The deal will cost Facebook $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock and a further $3 billion in restricted stock that can only be vested over several years.
Whatsapp is a global market leader among smartphone messaging apps. It's 450 milllion active users beat Line's 340 million and KaKao's 130 million, and the hefty price tag already has analysts speculating about the value of WeChat's 600 million Chinese users.
Still, with that much money at stake, we asked analysts if Facebook been taken for a ride, and here's what they had to say:
[Soundbyte on tape by Dan Greenhaus,Chief Global Strategist, BTIG] Media companies are obviously looking for these different distribution channels, but again, the question becomes, how much do you pay to get that? I think we're going to use the word "staggering" in terms of the price that they paid. Remember, Facebook tried to get Snapchat not too long ago for somewhere less than $5 billion. This price is quite large, but it shows that they're trying to get a foothold in the messaging space similar to how the Instagram deal gave them a presence in the picture side of things.
[Soundbyte on tape by David Williams, CEO, Williams Capital Advisors] They're paying about $40/user, which is the price for other apps in the arena, so I wouldn't say they're overpaying by a certain amount. I would say that this signals that they're taking their challengers in terms of popularity and international space very seriously and they're paying up to prevent another competitor from arising or acquiring that platform because it begins to really monetize its own users. It's a high price, but they had to do it or someone else would have.
Li Sixuan, from CNBC's Singapore headquarters.
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