Tencent Holdings, one of China’s internet giants, has acquired a 5 percent stake in Elon Musk’s electric-car maker Tesla, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
The purchase of 8.17 million shares makes the Chinese company one of Tesla’s largest shareholders. Tencent, whose internet empire includes businesses as diverse as online games and chat services, paid $1.8 billion for the stake, according to the filing.
Shares of Tesla rose 3 percent in early trading in New York.
The purchase came as Tesla has recently sought to raise more cash before it begins production of its Model 3, an electric vehicle targeting the mass market.
Tesla has previously focused on higher-end electric vehicles that begin around $91,000, and the introduction of the Model 3 will probably represent a significant increase in production for the carmaker. The company expects to make 5,000 Model 3s a week in the fourth quarter, and 10,000 a week at some point in 2018, according to a shareholder letter.
This month, Tesla, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said it would sell $250 million of common stock and $750 million of convertible senior notes.
Tencent controls WeChat, the popular messaging service in China. It also reached a deal last year to take control of Supercell, the maker of the popular Clash of Clans game.
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