Reddit today announced that it has raised $300 million from investors in a Series D funding round that pushes the company's valuation past $3 billion, as reported by CNBC. The website is one of the largest communities on the internet, with over 330 million users, and in 2018 it reportedly doubled its ad revenue to $100 million.
One of the biggest investors in this funding round has proven to be somewhat controversial, however. The online community received as much as $150 million from Tencent, a Chinese company that's seen as one of the big helpers of the country's internet censorship. Reddit is a large community where views are freely expressed, and the possibility of having the company be influenced by the Chinese government, even if indirectly, is worrying to many users.
As reported by BBC, many users have rallied to stand up against funding from Tencent since they believe the company may begin controlling what's posted on the forums, as it does in its own China-focused apps. Posts including references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests or Winnie the Pooh - a character that's also been banned from the country - have sprung up on the platform. It's worth noting that Reddit is one of the many websites currently blocked by the Chinese government.
Aside from free speech concerns, the new funding round means that Reddit is now worth $3 billion, up from $1.8 billion in 2017. The platform has been investing in improving the health of its community so as to get more interest from advertisers, as it aims to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook.