1st December 2022

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Pony Ma

Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, is one of the richest people on the planet. It is behind Shenzhen, Chinese internet and entertainment giant Tencent, best known for the messaging app WeChat and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

  • But for many, especially in India, ordinary people still don’t seem to know who Ma is. That said, here are some lesser-known facts about the billionaire CEO of Tencent, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook or Google.
  • Ma Huateng’s nickname is Pony Ma. Pony’s last name, Ma, is the Chinese word for horse: hence the nickname. In fact, Tencent’s Chinese name, teng xin, is also based on horses.
  • Ma Huateng was born in 1971, in Dongfang, Hainan, China. he is said to have a modest upbringing, as her father was a manager of the Shenzhen port.
  • In 1989, Ma enrolled at Shenzhen University to study software engineering. Ma is a longtime delegate of the National People’s Congress (NPC).
  • After graduating with a degree in computer science from Shenzhen University, Ma began her career as a programmer at China Motion Telecom Development, a company known for developing pager software, where he earn $ 176 (Rs 12,891) per month.
  • After leaving CMMobile, Ma got a job at Shenzhen Runxun Communications. There he worked in the Internet call services research and development department.
  • In 1998, at age 27, Ma, along with four of her classmates, co-founded Tencent. The company’s first product was the Internet instant messaging software QICQ or Open ICQ.
  • Despite the fact that QICQ was an Israeli IM ICQ scam, the service became extremely popular in China within a few months of its launch.
  • At one point, QICQ had 350 million users in China. Subsequently, Tencent changed the name of the service to QQ after AOL (American Online} filed a complaint for violation of QICQ domain names.
  • The big moment came in Ma’s life when he launched WeChat in 2011. WeChat is the most popular messaging service in China, behind only WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
  • Many say that it is impossible to communicate in China without WeChat. The app, which has more than 1 billion users, can be used for payments, taxi reservations, purchases, and even games.
  • Ma, 48, is the richest man in China with a net worth of more than $ 52 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
  • It owns 9.7% of Tencent. Not many people know that Prosus, a subsidiary of South African consumer internet conglomerate Naspers, owns 31% of Tencent. The stake is currently worth more than $ 120 billion.
  • Ma’s Tencent is also the world’s largest video game publisher. His company owns a 100% stake in Riot Games, which is best known for the popular game League of Legends.
  • Tencent also owns a 40% stake in Fortnite Epic Games studio and has a stake in Bluehole, the developer behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
  • It also invested $ 8.6 billion to acquire an 84.3% stake in Helsinki-based Supercell, the studio behind Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.
  • The Chinese tech company also has minority stakes in Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard. About 60% of Tencent’s $ 19.13 billion in gaming revenue last year came from mobile games.
  • In 2011, Ma’s Tencent became the first Chinese company to cross the $ 500 billion market valuation mark, outperforming Facebook.
  • Earlier this year, in July, Tencent’s market capitalization once again surpassed Facebook’s market valuation. Tencent’s market capitalization currently hovers around $ 509.7 billion.
  • Over the years, Ma’s Tencent has invested in several large technology companies.
  • It owns a 5% stake in Tesla and a 10% stake in Snap Inc. Tencent also owns 9% of Spotify, while the latter company owns 9% of Tencent Music.
  • Ma is known to keep a low profile in the media. His classmates described him as “shy” and “freaky” as a child. Mom’s idol is the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.
  • When Ma was young, he wanted to be an astronomer. Although Ma eventually decided to become a computer engineer, her interest in space exploration did not disappear.
  • In 2016, Tencent invested in three startups Moon Express, Satellogic, and Planetary Resources involved in space exploration.
  • Ma met his wife through the QQ messaging service, which was developed by Tencent. Ma’s daughter Ma Manlin is reportedly dating the son of Dalian Wanda Group founder Wang Jianlin, who is the founder of China’s largest real estate development company.
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