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Li Ka-Shing doubles stake in Facebook

LONDON - Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing has invested a second $60m in Facebook, doubling his stake in the social networking company to 0.8%.

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The deal confirms Facebook's total worth as £15bn, which is the same valuation settled upon when Microsoft bought into the world's fastest growing social media site in October, spending $240m on a 1.6% shareholding.

The move has been reported by Reuters, based on an unnamed source familiar with the deal.

The source said that Li's investment was made by his Li Ka-Shing Foundation and did not involve companies backed by him, such as mobile network 3's owner Hutchison Whampoa and Chinese media group Tom.

His first $60m investment was made by the foundation in December.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on Ka-Shing's stake.

Ka-Shing's involvement may lead to the launch of Facebook on Asian mobile networks, according to internet speculation.

The social network has already started to branch out into other languages, with Spanish, German and French versions launched in the past two months.

Facebook has also moved to give users more options to protect their privacy and reduce their exposure to its SocialAds system.

Venture capital investors have put around $40.7m into Facebook since 2004. They include PayPal co-founder and former chief executive Peter Thiel, Accel Partners, Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital Partners.

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