Ma Huateng is a Chinese business tycoon, financier, and philanthropist who was born on October 29, 1971. He is the co-founder and CEO of Tencent, one of the largest internet and technology corporations, as well as one of the largest investing, gaming, and entertainment conglomerates in the world. Tencent is also one of the most valuable companies in East Asia. WeChat, the largest mobile messaging app in China, is created by a firm in Shenzhen, and its subsidiaries offer media, entertainment, payment solutions, mobile devices, internet-related services, value-added services, and online advertising services both domestically and internationally.
He was the 33rd richest person in the world as of September 2023, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of US$37.5 billion. With a net worth of $34.5 billion as of September 2023, Ma is ranked as the 34th wealthiest person in the world and the fourth wealthiest person in China by Forbes. Ma was the ninth richest man in the world and the first Chinese national to make it into Forbes' top 10 richest list in November 2017 when his net worth briefly exceeded that of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (individually). However, Page and Brin have since overtaken Ma's net worth.
Early Life & Education
Chaoyang, Shantou, Guangdong is where Ma was born. The young Ma went with his father, Ma Chenshu, when he accepted a position as a port manager in Shenzhen. In 1993, he graduated from Shenzhen University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Applied Engineering. Ma's first position was as a software developer for pagers at China Motion Telecom Development, a provider of telecommunications services and goods. He allegedly made $176 each month. Additionally, he was employed by Shenzhen Runxun Communications Co. Ltd. in the division responsible for Internet calling service research and development.
Ma Huateng went on to co-found Tencent in 1998 with four of her former classmates. After Ma attended a demonstration for ICQ, the first Internet instant messaging service created in 1996 by an Israeli startup, the business released its first product. Ma and his colleagues adopted the concept as inspiration, and in February 1999 they released OICQ (or Open ICQ), a programme with a somewhat different name and a Chinese user interface. By the end of 1999, the service had amassed over a million registered users, making it one of the biggest of its kind in China. The product gained popularity swiftly.
OICQ, a coveted service from Tencent, was provided without charge, thus the business turned to venture capitalists to help pay its rising operating expenses. Ma turned to the US investment firm IDC and the Hong Kong telecom provider Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) in 2000, and PCCW paid US$2.2 million for 40% of Tencent's shares. Ma enhanced the messaging system by enabling OICQ users to transmit messages on mobile devices when the market for pagers shrank. After then, agreements with telecom carriers who agreed to split message fees led to 80 percent of the company's revenue.
Ma goes by the nickname Pony, which comes from his family name Ma's translation into English, which is "horse." Ma Huateng is renowned for leading a reclusive lifestyle and rarely makes media appearances. Ma Huateng's 9.7% ownership share in Tencent Holdings is the source of his riches. He apparently owns real estate and works of art worth $150 million in Hong Kong. He owns a renovated 1,820 m2 (19,600 sq ft) palatial home in Hong Kong.