What is Tencent?

Tencent was founded in 1998 by businessmen including "Pony" Ma Huateng

Tech company Tencent is one of China's largest corporations, and it appears to be growing fast.

Tencent was founded in 1998 by "Pony" Ma Huateng, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Chen Yidan and Zeng Liqing. Pony Ma is now the richest man in China with a net worth of $59.6 billion and is the company's CEO.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM IN CHINA?

Tencent operates China's most popular social media, WeChat, which has approximately one billion users. It is also known as Weixin, which means "micro message." Since its inception, WeChat has morphed from a messaging app to something more all-encompassing — WeChat users can video call, hail taxis, store their IDs and shop online, according to BusinessofApps.

Tencent CEO/Chairman Pony Ma Huateng attends Tencent 2018 Annual Results Announcement on March 21, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo by Zhang Wei/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images)

Tencent is solidifying its rank as one of China's most powerful tech companies and has expanded into gaming, mobile payments and entertainment. The company has also spun off its music streaming business to partner with Spotify. Forbes estimates Tencent's market capitalization at $509.7 billion.

WHAT TYPE OF ECONOMY DOES CHINA HAVE?

Tencent was involved in the controversy between the NBA and Hong Kong democracy advocates last year when it canceled some preseason game broadcasts after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey shared a "Stand with Hong Kong" message on Twitter.

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Months earlier, Tencent and the NBA had agreed to an exclusive partnership in China that is worth an estimated $1.5 billion and set to last until 2025.

Tencent is in a rivalry with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to become the country's most valuable company. Pony Ma replaced Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma as China's richest man this year.

Alibaba has a market capitalization of more than $696 billion, according to Yahoo! Finance.

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