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Tencent CEO Ma Huateng Is Back On Top As China’s Richest Person

Ma Huateng, the CEO of Tencent Holdings of the internet in China, is back on top as the richest person in the country.

Tencent’s shares rose 7% in Hong Kong on Thursday, closing at HK $ 654 amid growth hopes, boosting Ma’s fortune by $ 4 billion, to about $ 63.4 billion on the Stock List. Forbes Real-Time Billionaires. This led him to overtake the previous top spot, Nongfu Spring CEO Zhong Shanshan, whose estimated wealth ended the day at $ 62.9 billion.

Zhong, the king of bottled water in China, had a spectacular increase in his fortune following the September 8 Nongfu Spring quote at HK $ 21.50 per share on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Its shares peaked at HK $ 66.60 on January 8 and approached that level on February 17, closing at HK $ 65.95.

Since then, it has been largely downhill. Nongfu Spring closed with a four and a half month low of HK $ 38.75 on Wednesday of this week, before recovering to HK $ 40.15 on Thursday. At the close of Thursday, Nongfu Spring shares have lost 39% of their value since February 17.

Tencent, for its part, has not had a great race lately either. Its shares have fallen 6.3% since March 2, and 14% compared to a recent closing high of HK $ 761 on February 10. Still, the operator of China’s large social network WeChat with more than a billion users, based in Shenzhen, recently gave shareholders better profit growth than Nongfu Spring.

Tencent said on March 24 that its net profit in 2020 increased 175%, to 59.3 billion yuan, over revenue that increased 26%, to 133 billion yuan. In contrast, Nongfu Spring said on March 25 that revenue fell 4.8% last year, to 22.9 billion yuan; its net profit increased by 6.3% to 5.3 billion yuan.

Ma, 49, also known as Pony Ma, was a co-founder of Tencent in 1998.

China is home to the second largest number of billionaires in the world, after the United States, but the gap has been narrowing.

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