Chinese online movie ticketing service provider Maoyan claims to have secured RMB1bn (£115m/€128m/$150m) in funding from internet giant Tencent Holdings.

Maoyan is one of the three leading players within the Chinese online movie ticketing market and serves as a partner of 5,200 cinemas with 120 million registered users. In 2015, it recorded online ticket sales transaction value of $2.4bn.

In September, Tencent-backed Beijing Weiying Technology Co struck a merger deal with Maoyan to create a movie ticketing giant.

Maoyan holds the largest market share of the domestic online movie ticketing market with 23 per cent, while Tencent Holdings’ Weiying Technology has 20 per cent.

Taopiaopiao, a rival ticketing app that has a 16-per-cent market share, is owned by Alibaba. Tencent’s additional investment ramps up the competition between the firms.

According to Big Data Research, China is the world’s second largest movie market, where nearly 80 per cent of consumers buy tickets online.

Maoyan is also considering an IPO, its spokesman said, though he declined to give a timeline or the planned location for the flotation.