The Real Deal New York

Tencent, Warburg Pincus are betting big on China’s housing market

The companies are investing $1.5B in a brokerage firm
September 06, 2018 09:30AM

Tencent CEO Ma Huateng and the Beijing skyline (Credit: Getty Images and Francisco Anzola via Flickr)

Chinese internet giant Tencent is betting $1 billion on one of the country’s largest brokerages.

Beijing-based Lianjia is planning to raise about $2 billion from investors including Tencent and private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the Wall Street Journal reported. The fundraising round would value the company at roughly $13 billion.

Warburg Pincus is investing $500 million, the report said.

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Lianjia, whose formal name is Homelink Real Estate Agency Co., has a website for sale and rental listings and also offers services including home decor and property management. It operates 8,000 retail outlets with brokerage services in 28 Chinese cities, and has close to 150,000 property agents.

The investment will give Tencent exposure to China’s housing market, allowing the company to diversify its business, the report said. Its core businesses are gaming and social media.

China’s property market has seen an uptick in activity in recent years. Sales of residential properties saw a 16 percent year-over-year increase during the first seven months of 2018, the Journal reported, citing data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. At the same time, the Chinese government has considered measures to temper activity, such as bringing more rentals to the market and introducing property taxes on homes. [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar