Ma Huateng is a Chinese entrepreneur who founded Tencent Inc., one of the largest internet companies in China, and he is the fifth richest man in China with an estimated net worth of US$ 10.2 billion.
In 2007 Time magazine called him one of the world’s most influential people. As of April 2014, he is, by Time magazine, one of the most influential person in the world.
Born in 1971, Huateng is a native of Chaoyang, Guangdong province and a graduate from the Computer Science Department of Shenzhen University. After he earned his B.S. in software engineering in 1993, he joined China Motion Telecom Development, Ltd., where he worked on the Internet paging system development. Then Huateng went on to work for Shenzhen Runxun Communications Co., Ltd., where again he was engaged in research and development.
Ma and four of his friends founded Tencent in 1998.
The company’s first product, an instant message tool named Tencent QQ, became very popular in China. Tencent soon expanded to become “China’s answer to AOL”. He currently holds the position of Chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings, one of the top three Chinese internet companies along with Alibaba and Baidu. By the end of September 2012,Tencent’s QQ instant messaging had achieved a total of 784 million active users, an increase of 10% from the previous year.
Tencent’s mobile messaging application, WeChat, has surpassed 200 million active users by the end of 2012.Other diverse services include web portals, e-commerce, and multiplayer online games. Online games such as Legend of Yulong and Legend of Xuanyuan boosted revenue by more than half, up to US$ 5.1 billion, with a US$ 1.5 billion profit margin.