WhatsApp Acquisition: Facebook Bought the App Before Tencent Could, Claims Report

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WhatsApp Acquisition: Facebook Bought the App Before Tencent Could, Claims Report


  • Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014
  • Tencent co-founder's back surgery reportedly delayed acquisition plans
  • Tencent is the company behind popular messaging app WeChat

WhatsApp being acquired by Facebook was among the biggest tech deals of 2014, and a new report suggests that the story would have been a lot different had things gone according to Tencent's plan. For those unaware, Tencent is the owner of WeChat, one of the most popular messaging apps in China. It was reportedly in talks with WhatsApp for an acquisition, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his $19 billion offered swayed the app's co-founders Jan Koum and Bryan Acton to go with the world's biggest social network.

If you are wondering what prevented Tencent from presenting its offer to WhatsApp in 2014, the Bloomberg report claims the company's co-founder 'Pony' Ma Huateng had to undergo a back surgery right around the time Tencent was about to make its offer.

While this acquisition would have turned Tencent into a global player, it is hard to say that the company would have been successful even if it had presented its offer to WhatsApp. This is because Facebook reportedly ended up paying more than twice the amount that Tencent was planning on offering to the company for the acquisition deal.

As the Bloomberg report has not mentioned whether Mark Zuckerberg was aware about Pony Ma's surgery or Tencent's intention to present an acquisition deal to WhatsApp, it would be unfair to suggest that Zuckerberg took advantage of the situation. However, this is not the first time that Facebook rushed a deal as it tried to negotiate the acquisition of Oculus over one weekend, points out CNBC.

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