Editor’s note Aug. 7, 2017, 5:45 pm ET: Ma Huateng’s position as No. 1 richest in Asia lasted just a matter of hours. Alibaba stock ended the trading session in New York on Monday Aug. 7 up 3.6%, lifting the fortune of Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma to $36.4 billion, $200 million more than Tencent’s Ma Huateng.
Editor’s note: As of 1 pm ET on August 7, a rise in the price of Alibaba stock lifted Jack Ma to a net worth of $36.2 billion, tied with Ma Huateng of Tencent. Alibaba trades on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ma Huateng, chairman of China Internet heavyweight Tencent, has for the first time become the wealthiest person in all of Asia. It is also the first time he has ranked no. 1 in China.
Monday’s 2.95% gain in the share price of Tencent at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange added nearly $1 billion to the fortune of Ma Huateng, who was worth an estimated $36.2 billion on the Forbes real-time billionaires ranking. That compares with $35.6 billion for Jack Ma, the chairman of Alibaba, who slipped to No. 2 from No. 1 richest in China.
The rise of Tencent and Alibaba underscore the explosive 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.
Whereas New York-listed Alibaba is best known for online commerce and the outgoing style of its high-profile chairman, Jack Ma, Tencent is listed in Hong Kong, the company is less well known outside of China, and is led by a lower key chairman with an engineering background.
Tencent boasts a wide array of popular services and products including payments and games, along with the popular social networking platform WeChat.
By Russell Flannery