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23 November 2017, 12:30 | Yvette Williams
WeChat has about 500m users in China
With a valuation of $48.3bn, Forbes magazine has stated that Tencent's chief executive, Ma Huateng, is worth more than the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This came after the market value for the company reached a record $500 billion.
Tencent's market cap is above Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which stands at $474.15 billion, and Baidu at $82.97 billion.
Admission to the half-a-trillion-dollar-club which comprises of Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon - approaches a week after Tencent posted benefits of 18 billion RMB ($2.7 billion) on incomes of 65.2 billion RMB ($9.8 billion) for Q3 2017. Since then, the company has managed to rally nearly 11.25%.
Tencent has also acquired stakes in both Tesla and Snap (both U.S companies), and invested in numerous start-ups in Asia, including India's Uber rival Ola. Last week, the Chinese company reported a 67 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit for the third quarter, beating market expectations.
Tencent has almost one billion users on its popular WeChat phone platform, where people can chat, post photos, play games, transfer money and pay for a variety of services in China.
Tencent is a sprawling business. Revenue rose by 61% thanks to its games division, which focuses on PC and mobile.
Hong Kong stock investors have had a rocky ride in the past 10 years, buffeted by the global financial crisis, the bursting of two different Chinese stock bubbles, as well as concerns over European debt.
While Tencent may not be a household name in the United States, it's continuing to push into new areas, including making big investments in America. Barclays increased the price target to $59 from $49 for Tencent and increased its forecast for revenue for both 2018 and 2019.
"Tencent's disciplined execution and well-positioned multi-engine growth strategy should sustain its valuation premium in the medium to long-term", Daiwa said in a note on November 15.
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