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Pangilinan: No progress on Voyager-Tencent tie-up

PLDT Inc. is facing the real prospect of its digital subsidiary Voyager Innovations Inc. operating without a partner, as talks with a Chinese multinational company showed no progress.

“We have not received any word from Tencent, one way or another,” PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters when asked for updates on a potential investor for Voyager.

Tencent Holdings is behind the messaging services WeChat and QQ, and mobile game Honor of Kings.

“We are assuming, at least for the moment, that we will not have a strategic partner, so we will proceed with our own plans with Voyager,” the tycoon said.

“I think it’s important for us to rethink what Voyager could do under the current circumstances. We’re also learning about the business,” he added.

Pangilinan is optimistic Voyager could spur growth, as seen by the good performance of its e-cash payment unit PayMaya in the market.

“The volume of business and the number of accounts on PayMaya…have grown,” he said, noting that the telecommunications giant is “encouraged” by the good performance of its marketing portal Freenet in the last few months without any partner.

Pangilinan’s statement came five months after he said PLDT would be inking strategic and financial partnerships with foreign groups to strengthen Voyager.

“They (foreign companies) will either invest in the parent firm Voyager itself or one of the verticals—marketing technology, fintech (financial technology), or its cashless payment system, or the platform for lending,” he said then.

Voyager is into digital marketing, e-cash payments through PayMaya, and e-commerce.

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