Chinese Portal Tencent Gives Staff $155 Million In Interest-Free Home Loans

And you thought stock options were a company perk? In China, the diversified Tencent internet company is setting aside 1 billion yuan ($155 million) for a three-year employee housing plan, as workers are faced by growing Chinese house prices.

The programme will include interest-free home loans and, in effect, takes up the majority of the HK$1.56 billion ($200 million) Tencent raised when it went public in Hong Kong in 2004.

Tencent owns the popular QQ messenger, Tencent Weibo microblogger, eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) and PayPal clones and more, and has over 10,000 staff. Here is the cost of living in Shenzhen, where Tencent is located.

Along with its economy, Chinese house prices have been growing fast in the last few years. Since Tencent’s CEO Ma Huateng announced the measure in April, Shenzhen house prices have actually fallen, however.