Ma Huateng, chairman of Tencent, for the first time, has become the wealthiest person in China, and in Asia.
Following a 3% jump in the company’s stock, Huateng’s net worth reached $36.2 billion, exceeding Alibaba’s Jack Ma’s $35.6 billion. Huateng is now the 18th richest man in the world.
Tencent share prices surged at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, adding nearly $1 billion to Ma Huateng’s fortune. Following this, Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba, slipped into the No. 2 spot from the No. 1 spot of the richest person in China.
In May, Jack Ma surpassed Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin to become the country’s richest man. The rise of Tencent and Alibaba showcase the massive growth in online services and content in China, the world’s most populous country and the nation with the world’s largest number of Internet users.
While New York-listed Alibaba is best known for its online commerce and for the outgoing style of its high-profile chairman, Jack Ma, Tencent is listed in Hong Kong, and the company is not as well known outside of China. In comparison to Jack Ma, Ma Huateng leads a very low profile life.
Tencent boasts a wide range of popular internet services and products such as payments and games. The most popular of its products is the social networking platform WeChat.
The wealth of Huateng primarily comes from Internet media. He witnessed a significant rise in the share price this year. The shares increased about 78% since December 2016, according to media reports. Tencent’s success in many sectors including social media and entertainment contributed to the share price increase.
Tencent reported a 55% year-on-year increase in its first-quarter revenue to 49.6 billion yuan in May 2017. The increase can mainly be attributed to the company’s strong online gaming platform. The company’s bi-yearly report comes out next week and investors and analysts are waiting to see how it fared.