Ma Huateng: Is there a single family office?

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Where does the fortune of Ma Huateng come from?

Ma Huateng also known as Pony Ma, is a Chinese billionaire business magnate. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Tencent, Asia’s most valuable company. Tencent is one of the largest Internet and technology companies and one of the biggest investment, gaming and entertainment conglomerates in the world. The firm develops China’s biggest mobile instant messaging service, WeChat, and its subsidiaries provide media, entertainment, payment systems, smartphones and online advertising services, both in China and globally. According to Forbes, Ma Huateng’s net worth is estimated around 60.7 billion USD (March 24, 2021), making him the 2nd richest person in China.

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How did Huateng’s company Tencent develop?

Ma Huateng’s career started at China Motion Telecom Development, a supplier of telecommunications services and products, where he was in charge of developing software for pagers. Later on, he worked for Shenzhen Runxun Communications in the research and development department for Internet calling services. In 1998, Ma Huateng co-founded Tencent in 1998 together with 4 classmates. The company’s first product was a messenger service (Open ICQ) that quickly became popular and gathered more than a million registered users by the end of 1999, making it one of the largest of such services in China. In 2003 Ma decided to expand the business portfolio of Tencent. The company released its own portal and entered the online games market, followed by its 200 billion USD IPO in 2004. Tencent became the largest Chinese instant messaging service. In the following years an online gaming platform, a C2C platform and, in 2011, WeChat. WeChat is the Chinese equivalent to WhatsApp that is used by 48 percent of Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region. Other diverse services provided by Tencent include web portals, e-commerce, and multiplayer online games. Today Tencent employs more than 60,000 people and generates revenues of 57 billion USD.

Is there a Ma Huateng family office?

Although no traditional single family office exists through which Ma Huateng’s investment activities are all channeled, he uses his company, Tencent Holdings, as a parent for various kinds of investments and holdings.

How does the Ma Huateng family office invest?

Through Tencent Holdings, Ma Huateng is an active venture capital and private equity investor who focuses on Internet, information technology, gaming , marketing and software. Exemplary investments include Rakuten, Udemy and Farfetch. Furthermore, Ma Huateng seems to have a philanthropic streak. He transferred 2.3 billion USD worth of his personal Tencent shares to the Ma Huateng Global Foundation.

This article is part of our detailed report “The Single Family Offices of Asian Billionaires and HNWIs“.

Picture source: Adem Ay

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