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Facebook has gotten a new $60 million investment from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, in what could be move to get savvy help in China as the popular social network prowls for the best way to enter the hyper-competitive market.
Li Ka-shing (pictured here) was named ninth richest person in the world by Forbes, valued at $23 billion. Among his investments are Tom.com, a Chinese web company that could be a possible partner for Facebook in China.
The investment, first reported by AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, comes on top of Microsoft’s recent $240 million into the company at a very high $15 billion valuation. Details of the investment by the 79-year-old Li Ka-shing are few, and so it’s not clear whether he invested at the same value or not. As part of the Microsoft deal, Facebook agreed to an advertising relationship. Similar to that deal, Facebook may have made promises to Li Ka-shing or to one of his companies to compensate for that high valuation, though that’s speculation on our part.
Li Ka-shing is the chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Limited and Hutchison Whampoa Limited, a large conglomerate with 250,000 employees. He is especially active in Hong Kong, where he has investments in telecommunications, real estate, electricity, retail, shipping and the internet. Recently, he’s started investing in Silicon Valley companies, backing the P2P internet television company, Joost, for example.
He also has the right to invest another $60 million in Facebook, according to Swisher.