Comcast and Target stores in China are being sold off, leaving consumers exposed to Chinese telecoms firm Tencent Holdings.
The deal, first reported by Bloomberg, was announced Tuesday by the companies, which also announced that they had merged their cable business.
Tencent bought an 18.7 percent stake in the retail giant in January.
In a joint statement, Comcast said the deal was announced “as a result of our continued investments in broadband and wireless technology and investments in our network.
This deal is focused on ensuring that we continue to deliver our customers the highest-quality internet, the fastest, and the most reliable.”
Target announced it was also closing its store and was working on plans to expand.
The sale of the stores was first reported earlier in January by Bloomberg.
The merger is expected to result in a $4 billion profit for Comcast, which was valued at $70 billion as of January.
Tencent said in a statement that it will buy the remaining 51 percent of the retail chain from Comcast and target Target stores, while the remaining 50 percent will be controlled by Comcast.
TenCent, which owns the NBCUniversal and Cinemax cable networks, is the world’s second-largest telecoms company after Verizon Communications Inc. TenChen said it will retain the majority of its core business in China and would focus on expanding its presence in the U.S. and Canada.
“The merger is part of our efforts to leverage our broadband and mobile assets in China to provide customers with faster, more reliable and cheaper internet access,” Tencent CEO Wang Jianlin said in the statement.
“This agreement is part to our strategy to achieve our stated goals of increasing internet speeds and expanding our reach in the world.”
Tencent has grown rapidly in China, growing from just 4 percent of internet traffic in 2012 to over 90 percent in 2015.
In January, the company said it had reached 50 million customers, including a 30 percent increase in mobile users.
The merger, which is expected by regulators to close by the end of 2019, will be a boon for Comcast and its customers, as it will eliminate the need for Comcast to maintain a cable network in the United States.
The FCC said in January that it would look into the sale of a large part of Comcast’s network.
Comcast said Tuesday that the deal “is in the process of being finalized and we will not comment further.”