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Ma Huteng is co-founder and CEO of Tencent, one of the largest Chinese Internet companies, which is best known for its messaging and social media software QQ and WeChat. WeChat is China’s most popular app with more than 1 billion users and contributes $ 3.7 billion to Tencent’s earnings.
Ma Huteng is also called “Pony Ma” by his compatriots, since “Ma” literally means “pony” or “horse” in Chinese.
With an estimated net worth of $ 38.8 billion, he is number 20 on the Forbes list of the richest people. According to the Hurun Report, the Chinese version of Forbes, he is the second richest Chinese.
Ma was born in Guangdong Province, south China. He has a degree in computer science from Shenzhen University. Before founding Tencent in 1998, he gained experience as a programmer at CMMobile, a Chinese telecommunications company.
Since going public, Tencent stock has risen 11,000% (!) And was the first Asian company to achieve a market capitalization of more than USD 500 billion. Ma still holds a 9.7% stake in Tencent, but the South African multimedia group Naspers is the largest single shareholder with a 34% stake.
In China, Tencent’s Messenger QQ is associated with a penguin. The cute mascot with the red scarf is now quite famous. It was said that it was designed by an employee who was actually a programmer. But since the young company had no graphic designers, the creative skills of the programmer had to suffice.
Tencent now employs hundreds of graphic designers, but the logo has remained and is contributing to cult status.
However, Tencent is much more than just a messaging provider. It is also one of the world’s largest gaming companies. It owns 40% of Epic Games (Fortnite) and also a 5% stake in video game producer Activision Blizzard.
Tencent also owns 12% of the snapchat parent company Snap and acquired 5% of Tesla Motors. These cross-sector and cross-border investments thus lead to a diversification of Ma Huteng’s assets, even though he “only” owns Tencent shares.
Although the Tencent CEO is immeasurably rich, he doesn’t care much about status symbols. He drives a Volvo S80L. Not the worst car, but certainly a rarity among the billion.
By the way, Ma also got to know his wife on his QQ app. However, the family lives in seclusion from the public and therefore little is known.
Not too long ago, however, Ma caused a lot of publicity because he wanted to transfer $ 2 billion worth of Tencent shares from his fortune to a charitable foundation.
Sources & Links:
SouthChinaMorningPost: About Ma Huteng (1).
SouthChinaMorningPost: About Ma Huteng (2)
FrankfurterAllgemeine: „China hat seinen ersten Milliarden-Wohltäter“.
MarketsInsider – on Tencents SnapChat Investment.