On this day, October 29 in the year 1971, one of the chief claimants to the throne of richest person in China was born in Shantou, Guangdong, China. His name is Hadya Ma Huateng, the co-founder of Tencent Holdings Limited, one of the leading internet companies in China. According to forbes.com, his net worth is $59.1 billion as of October, 2020.
Ma Huateng was the son of a member of the Chinese Communist Party who became a port manager. He acquired a degree in computer science from the University of Shenzhen. After graduation, he worked as a software developer at China Motion Telecom Development with a salary of $176 a month. Later, he moved to Shenzhen Runxun Communications Co. Ltd. and became a researcher for internet calling services.
In 1998, Ma Huateng co-founded Tencent with four other friends. Its initial product was instant messaging software which was branded as OICQ but was renamed as QQ later. PCCW, one of Hong Kong’s largest telecom providers, purchased a 20% stake in the company. In 2004, it was listed at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Aside from instant messaging, the company has subsidiaries that offer gaming, entertainment, news, payment systems, and online advertising. To fast track its entry to online shopping, it entered into partnership with Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group and Baidu’s Robin Li in 2014.
According to its website, there are over 900 million users of its Weixin and weChat platforms and more than 850 million users of QQ. Great majority of its users are Chinese however. Ma Huateng is married.