Naspers, the largest shareholder in Tencent, is reportedly set to invest in Facebook’s Libra token, in a move that could pave the way for a future partnership between the two companies.

Naspers, through its subsidiary PayU, reportedly invested US$10-million to be one of the founding members. This early entry into investment has meant that PayU is one of 30 members who will get a say on decisions. 

Speaking on the Libra partnership, Nasper’s CEO, Bob Van Dijk told TechCentral:

“It’s obviously early days … but the ambition that Facebook has with libra is exciting…It’s an empowering idea where you basically create a frictionless, costless way for people to transfer value to each other, so I think that’s exciting.”

This is not the first investment in the crypto world for Naspers. They also invested in Luno, a crypto exchange founded and run by South Africans. The investment that most know about though is the Tencent one.

Naspers and Tencent

After having invested 18 years ago, Naspers has seen a huge return. Investing 34 million in 2001, since then they have seen a market capitalization of more than 150 billion US dollars, plus a cash flow of 9.81 billion US dollars, according to statistics in 2018. This meant their income increased by 4,950 times, in eighteen years.

Currently, they are holding a 31 percent stake, making them the largest in the company. With being almost lifelong partners and being a major part of Tencent, this should give them sway and could put together an interesting possibility of a Libra and Tencent partnership?

Libra-Tencent partnership?

Since the launch of the Libra White paper, many columnists and experts have claimed to be worried about the outcome and where this leaves China in the modern age. The worry is that China may be stuck under another global hegemony in terms of finance and would be, “falling behind in the new financial landscape.”

There was also talk of Libra maybe taking over Tencent’s Wechat and Alibaba’s AliPay, with the new Libra feature. 

However, China would have to soften its hardline stance not just on cryptocurrencies but also on Facebook for this to happen. The country at numerous occasions has outlawed cryptocurrencies and even mining. 

Yet, should this change Libra and Tencent have a clear bridge in the form of Naspers. Let’s hope the South Afrcian team can make China’s crypto dream.