“In China, you can have hundreds of competitors within the first hours of going live. Ideas are not important in China—execution is.”

Ma Huateng

Entrepreneur's Journey

Ma Huateng is the Chinese Billionaire Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Tencent, one of Asia’s largest technology companies. Tencent is also the world’s largest gaming company, and amongst the world’s largest technology investors, social media networks, and web/mobile app makers. Huateng is worth $55.66 Billion as of October 21st, 2020. When researching Huateng, one can find more about him under his nickname “Pony,” which is derived from his family name “Ma” and translates to the word “horse.” Pre-Tencent, Huateng studied at the Shenzhen University and received a degree in computer science. His friends described him as a “geek” who routinely hacked into university computers and remembered him for his obsession with astronomy. Huateng’s key vehicle for philanthropic endeavors is the Ma Huateng Global Foundation. In 2016, the billionaire set aside 100 million shares for the foundation which were valued at $3.2 Billion. In 2020, the shares were worth $7.2 Billion.

Innovation brought by the entrepreneur:

Tencent is a technology conglomerate akin to Alphabet. Tencent has its hands in every corner of the technology ecosystem. Its key areas of operation are social media, messaging, gaming, and investing. It was the first Asian technology company to pass the $500 Billion mark in valuation.

Counting the lives touched by Huateng and Tencent is an impossible task due to the company’s current scope. To put this into perspective, WeChat alone has 1.2 Billion users. QQ, the company’s first product, has nearly 900 Million users. WeChat is essential to everyday life in China and is gaining popularity around the world. The app can be used to pay for taxis, sort utility bills, shop, and even prove a user’s good health during the pandemic.

The company has demonstrated that while it is investing in futuristic ideas, such as flying cars, it is more interested in preserving the ecosystem it has created. Tencent will invest $70 billion in the coming five years into technologies such as “cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and Internet of Things, as well as the supporting infrastructure including advanced servers, supercomputers, data centers, and 5G mobile networks.”

Key Success Attributes

Ma Huateng’s customer-oriented thinking led him to design a product that could best be described as objectionable.
Tencent always seems to beat its competitors and this comes down to Huateng’s spotless execution, such as building QQ, the world’s fifth most visited website, which is based on an Israeli messaging platform. (ICQ)
Huateng understands the Chinese population and its inner workings. He uses this to his advantage in acquiring customers who might not have joined his platform otherwise.

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