Zhihu: Withdrawal of Shareholders a Normal Change in Corporate Governance

Chinese business inquiry platform Tianyancha showed on Thursday that Beijing Zhizhe Tianxia Technology Co., Ltd., an affiliated company of Zhihu, the largest Q&A-inspired online community in China, has undergone changes to its registration with the country’s Industrial and Commercial Administration recently. 

Several companies and individuals have withdrawn as shareholders, including Sogou, Tencent-affiliated company Shenzhen Litong Industrial Investment Fund Co., Ltd., Bai Jie, and Huang Jixin.

In response, Zhihu pointed out that Beijing Zhizhe Tianxia Technology is an affiliated company of Zhihu Inc., its overseas-listed entity. This structural change is a normal change in the firm’s corporate governance, and the actual controllers, key shareholders and their shareholding ratios in Zhihu remain unchanged.

Beijing Zhizhe Tianxia Technology was established in June 2011 with a registered capital of about 1,691,900 yuan ($265,612) and its legal representative is Li Dahai. According to shareholder information, the company is now jointly held by Zhou Yuan and Li Dahai.

On March 27 this year, Zhihu was officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange. According to information disclosed when it was listed, Zhou Yuan, founder, Chairman and CEO of Zhihu, held 8.2% of the total shares, and management held 9.6%. Among the institutional shareholders, Sinovation Ventures held 13.1%, Tencent held 12.3%, Qiming Venture Partners held 11.3%, SAIF Partners held 9.3%, Kuaishou held 8.3%, and CTG of Capital Today held 6.8%.

SEE ALSO: Chinese Q&A Site Zhihu Summoned by Beijing Cyberspace Regulator

Apart from the withdrawing of shareholders of Zhihu-affiliated companies, Tencent also announced on December 23 that it would hand out JD.com stocks to shareholders. 

After the distribution, Tencent‘s shareholding ratio in JD.com will be reduced from 17% to about 2.3%, and it will no longer be the largest shareholder in JD.com.

Tencent then explained that JD.com has been able to raise funds independently, and the transfer is in line with Tencent‘s investment strategy. Tencent and JD.com will still maintain a strong partnership in the future.