China briefly had a new face at the top of its rich list on Monday.
Ma Huateng, also known as Pony, surpassed Alibaba’s Jack Ma to become the country’s richest man, according to Forbes’ billionaires’ list.
Pony Ma is the founder and CEO of internet company Tencent, which operates the super-popular WeChat app.
He became the 18th richest person in the world after his company’s stock price jumped 3%, leaving Jack Ma in 20th place.
But Jack Ma swiftly reversed the switch on Monday afternoon after Alibaba’s shares rallied nearly 3%. He is now back in 18th place in the list, which is updated in real-time. Pony Ma is in 19th.
Take a look at the slides below to learn more about Ma and Tencent.
This is 45-year-old Ma Huateng. He’s the founder and CEO of Tencent, China’s largest internet portal.
Tencent is the company behind WeChat, a multi-purpose app which is like a mixture of WhatsApp, Google News, Uber, and Deliveroo. It has around a billion users.
Ma is currently the company’s largest individual stakeholder, with a 8.71% interest in the company, Quartz reported.
Ma’s nickname is Pony — apparently part of a network of puns about horses.
Although his given name is Huateng, Ma also goes by Pony — a nickname likely chosen for its English meaning.
Pony and Tencent’s names, as well as Ma’s own surname, are all horse references. “Ma” means horse in Chinese, while Tencent’s Chinese name, teng xin, stands for “an era of messaging in the speed of 10,000 horses running.“
Tencent had humble beginnings. Ma founded the company in 1998, aged 26, and its first product was a knockoff.
Tencent’s first product was an adaptation of Israeli instant messaging ICQ for the Chinese market, according to The Economist.