10 Things You Didn’t Know About Tencent CEO Ma Huateng

Ma Huateng is a business magnate, an entrepreneur, an engineer, a philanthropist, and an investor. He was born in the Chaoyang District of Shantou, China, on October 29, 1971. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Tencent, which is China’s most valuable company. This conglomerate covers a variety of industries, including mobile instant messaging, entertainment, media, smartphones, payment systems, advertising services, and Internet-related services. While this man is one of the most successful men in business, there are many things that people do not know about him. Here are ten interesting facts about Ma Huateng.

1. He Moved Many Times in His Youth

Ma Huateng comes from humble beginnings and his life growing up was nothing like it is now. His family was poor and his father struggled to find employment. In a bid to find a job, the family moved three times within a few years until his father eventually got a job as a port manager in Shenzhen. The family remained living in that area and Ma Huateng attended Shenzhen University where he studied for a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science.

2. He Met His Wife Through His Own Chat Service

The technological developments of Huateng’s company have benefited millions of people across the world. However, he has also made good use of them himself. He even met his wife through his own chat service. They chatted using the service for many months before meeting in person and developing a romantic relationship.

3. He is the Richest Man in China

Ma Huateng is now the richest man in China and the 14th richest man in the world. According to Forbes, his estimated personal net worth is $47.8 billion.

4. He Gave Stocks to His Charitable Foundation

Ma Huateng transferred $2 billion of shares from Tencent to his charitable foundation in 2016. However, this did not affect his personal net worth listed by Forbes as the shares were still listed in his own name.

5. His Name is Translated as ‘Horse’

The name ‘Huateng’ is the Chinese word for horse. However, its literal translation from Mandarin to English as Pony. It is for this reason that Huateng has earned the nickname Pony. In many articles, he is referred to as Pony Ma.

6. His Company Name Also Has a Horse Theme

Tencent, Huateng’s company name, also has a horse theme, although this is unrelated to the meaning of the businessman’s surname. When he founded his instant messaging service, he chose the name Tencent for his company as a play on the Mandarin characters Teng and Xun. While Teng means galloping, Xun means message. When the two characters are written together, it means galloping message.

7. He is Conscious of Gaming Addiction in Young People

One element of Tencent is video game development and online gaming platforms. The company is responsible for the creation of games including Clash of Clans, Gears of War, League of Legends, and Honor of Kings. The latter has been described as being so addictive it is like a drug. When concerns were raised over young people becoming addicted to the game, Huateng responded by limiting the amount of time people under 18 could spend playing the game.

8. He Has a Personal Interest in Astronomy

One of Huateng’s greatest passions is astronomy and this is a long-standing personal interest. His company has even invested in startups that are looking to mine asteroids and the moon for personal resources. Tencent’s chief exploration officer, David Wallerstein, has said that they are open to the unexpected and want to learn what humans can do beyond earth.

9. His Personal Life is a Mystery

While many high-profile people enjoy being in the limelight and their personal lives are well-known, that is not the case with Ma Huateng. He likes to keep his personal life private and this has made it a mystery. Even those with whom he works closely are not sure whether Huateng lives in Hong Kong or across the border in Shenzen.

10. He Collects Art and Buys Real Estate

Ma Huateng’s investments go far beyond businesses as he has also invested large sums of money in real estate, especially around Hong Kong. He also has a highly valuable private art collection as art is something that interests him greatly.


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