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Spotify and China’s Tencent invest in each other as part of ‘strategic collaboration’

Spotify and Chinese tech titan Tencent are investing in each other’s music-streaming services as part of what Tencent president Martin Lau calls a “strategic collaboration.”

The reciprocal agreement between Spotify, Tencent, and the latter’s subsidiary Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) seeks to boost the companies’ respective prospects for growth in key markets around the world.

China remains notably absent from Spotify’s international roster, and as the Swedish company prepares to go public in 2018, this deal could open doors that were previously closed.

TME is a major digital music service provider in China, operating the likes of QQ Music, KuGou, and Kuwo across the country, and Tencent owns a majority stake in TME. The tie-up with Spotify will lead to TME and Spotify acquiring minority stakes in each other “for cash,” according to a joint statement issued by the companies, while Tencent will invest directly in Spotify through secondary purchases. Spotify is the world’s largest music-streaming service outside of China, so the investment is a no-brainer for Tencent and its TME subsidiary.

But what will this all mean in real terms? Well, it’s not entirely clear, but TME CEO Cussion Pang said that the companies will work toward exploring “collaboration opportunities, with a common objective to foster a vibrant music ecosystem that benefits users, artists, and content owners.”

Enter China
While Apple Music launched in China back in 2015, Tencent is thought to control more than 75 percent of the Chinese digital music market, with services from local players such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Netease also proving popular.


h/t BFD


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