US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Internet company, is now not the richest man in China: billionaire ceded leadership to telecommunications company Tencent founder Ma Huateng, writes Forbes.
Tencent founder Ma Huateng (马化腾 mǎ huàténg), known worldwide as Pony Ma (his last name means “horse”) has a fortune of $ 48.3 billion, and Jack Ma has $ 41.2 billion.
In early March, the founder of Tencent for some time made his way to first place in the list of the richest people in the country, when his capital reached $ 44.5 billion. In the world ranking of the richest people in the world, Huaten took 20th place in April, and Jack Ma took 17th place.
Since the beginning of 2020, quotes by Tencent, which is the largest distributor of online games, have grown by 14% – to the highest level in two years. The increase in share prices is due to the high demand for mobile games during the period of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Tencent deals not only with games. The company operates in many industries, from technology to film. For example, the film Men in Black: International was filmed by Tencent Pictures, which is also responsible for the major releases of Top Gun: Maverick and Terminator: Dark Fate.
Tencent also owns the popular WeChat app and QQ instant messenger, which is used by more than 1 billion people. Tencent also has a stake in major American gaming studios. For example, a Chinese company owns Riot Games, a Los Angeles-based studio responsible for the two largest games in the world, League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics.
Tencent also owns a substantial share of Epic Games (namely, 40%), the North Carolina company behind Fortnite, the Epic Games Store, and the Unreal Engine 4, which creates many games. She also owns the majority of Supercell (84%), the Finnish leader in the mobile gaming market behind projects such as Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Brawl Stars. Tencent owns a minority stake in Activision, the publisher of Call of Duty, and Ubisoft, which owns the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Simply put, Tencent’s gaming portfolio is huge.
Activision, the publisher of Call of Duty, is an American company. When Activision wants to launch Call of Duty in China, Activision needs a Chinese partner – Tencent. Even Nintendo has partnered with Tencent to enter China’s lucrative gaming market: Nintendo and Tencent have teamed up to launch the Switch console in China sometime in the future. The other largest gaming companies in the world go through the same process, from EA to Sony and Ubisoft: Tencent is the company through which the video game industry enters the Chinese market.
In addition, Tencent operates WeGame, the Chinese equivalent of the world’s largest computer gaming store, Steam. There is one important difference between Steam and WeGame: the latter has many times more users than Steam.
Tencent is considered one of the few beneficiaries of the pandemic because millions of people in isolation have turned to games, cloud services, collaboration tools, and other online services for entertainment, education, or work for entertainment.
The company’s cloud computing and office services, such as Tencent Meeting, WeChat Work, as well as its online education and healthcare services, played an important role since the country switched to remote work during the outbreak.
In a recent financial quarter, Tencent made a profit that exceeded market expectations thanks to the gaming business, as well as better than expected performance in advertising and fintech services.
Tencent revenue amounted to 108 billion Chinese yuan ($ 15.2 billion), an increase of 26% over the previous year. Profits attributable to shareholders of the company reached 28.9 billion yuan, compared with 23.83 billion yuan. This is an increase of 6% compared to last year. According to the company, the mobile hits Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite helped the gaming division grow and offset the decline in revenue from computer games.
Revenues from online games grew by 31% compared to last year and amounted to 37.3 billion yuan. The total revenue from games on smartphones amounted to 34.7 billion yuan for the March quarter. Jefferies Investment Bank analysts had expected revenue of 31.6 billion yuan.
According to analysts, Huaten’s revenue growth is only a temporary benefit, Forbes writes. With the opening of schools and offices amid the gradual removal of restrictions, people will begin to spend less time on games.
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