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Tencent planning Singapore IPO for WeChat spinoff

tencent-logoChinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is planning to list its popular messaging app Weixin, or WeChat, as a spinoff company in Singapore, the official China Daily reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed source.

The source told the paper that Hong Kong-listed Tencent had opened an office in Singapore to deal with the listing, which it had originally planned to hold in Hong Kong. The report did not give a timeframe or other details for the listing.

"We have no idea where this market rumour originates from and will not comment on it," Tencent spokeswoman Jane Yip told Reuters.

China's largest online gaming and social networking firm, led by Chief Executive and Chairman Pony Ma, is set to announce its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

Tencent, which competes with Alibaba Group and Baidu Inc, has invested heavily in the popular messaging app as it and other Chinese Internet companies try to broaden their revenue streams.

With more than 300 million users in China, WeChat has strong potential earnings power for Tencent, as the firm begins to monetise the app with its August update introducing games, paid-for emoticons and a mobile payment system.

WeChat is similar to WhatsApp, Line or KakaoTalk, apps that allow users to swap messages, stickers, and voice messages over a data connection.

Tencent is more than 30 per cent owned by South African media group Naspers Ltd.

Tencent shares were up 1 per cent as of 0157 GMT, compared with a 0.4 per cent rise in broader market.

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