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Tencent is Asia's first $500 billion company

A woman uses her smartphone near a booth for the Chinese Internet company Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. Photo: Mark Schiefelbein / AP

Chinese Internet giant Tencent became the first Asian company ever to be valued above $500 billion on Monday, after its shares rose 4.1% in trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, per Axios' Dan Primack.

What we're watching: Tencent and other Chinese tech companies have notably made efforts to penetrate the Western media market, while China has continued to clamp down on letting American companies access its market.

  • Tencent bought a 12% stake in Snapchat earlier this month. The Journal reports that it's invested in 41 tech startups in the U.S. since 2011.
  • Toutiao, a Chinese personalized news app, has agreed to acquire Chinese lip-sync app Musical.ly, which has skyrocketed in popularity amongst European and American kids. No financial terms were disclosed, but word is the price-tag was between $800 million and $1 billion, via a mixture of cash and stock, per Primack.

Rivals: Facebook and Amazon both crossed the $500 billion threshold this past summer, with the former opening trading Monday with a market cap of $520 billion. In terms of tech, they all still trail market cap leaders Apple ($872 billion), Alphabet ($712 billion) and Microsoft ($636 billion).

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