Huateng “Pony” Ma
Pony Ma’s first serious exposure to the Internet was in 1996, when the 25 year-old telecom software developer was sent by his company on a training program in the USA. Two years later, in a shabby building on the backstreets of Shenzhen, he founded Tencent, an online lifestyle services company that caters specifically to the needs of young Chinese-speaking users in search of social networks and entertainment.
By tailoring his offerings to the interests and culture of his customers, Ma has laughed off competition from international messaging services such as Microsoft’s MSN, as well as other local imitators. By 2012, Tencent was the third largest Internet business by market capitalization in the world, with over 750 million active users.
"I think every Internet user likes personalization"