Ma Huateng—often known as “Pony Ma”—cofounded the successful software company Tencent in 1998. With his passion for computer software and talent for spotting opportunities in the growing Chinese online market, Ma helped turn Tencent into one of the biggest internet conglomerates in the world.

Born in Chaoyang, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, Ma Huateng moved to Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, when his father found work there as a port manager. As a child, he had a keen interest in science, which he channeled into computing, graduating with a degree in computer science from ...

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