Since the Chinese government launched a campaign to tighten control of the technology industry, the personal assets of Jack Ma and Tencent Chairman Pony Ma have plummeted.
Follow Bloomberg Billionaires IndexPony Ma’s total assets decreased by nearly 14 billion USD since Jack Ma’s Ant Group canceled its initial public offering (IPO) in November 2020. Currently owned by Pony Ma 45.8 billion USD.
Meanwhile, Jack Ma’s fortune plummeted 13.2 billion USD in the same period, there are 48.8 billion USD. Former Tencent CTO Zhang Zhidong died approx 6.5 billion USD, currently owned 19.3 billion USD.
Outside the technology sector, real estate billionaire Hui Ka Yan – owner of Evergrande Group – witnessed total assets evaporate 13.2 billion USD as Beijing also tightens control of the real estate sector. Now Mr. Hui is in his hand 10.9 billion USD.
After Beijing launched a campaign to crack down on the technology industry, Alibaba had to pay a record fine $2.8 billion for violating antitrust laws. Tencent was only fined lightly, but its music business was stripped of its exclusive online distribution rights.
Pony Ma, founder and chairman of Tencent Holdings. Photo: Money Inc.
However, Tencent faced a big shock this week when the daily Economic News – a publication of the Xinhua News Agency – published an article criticizing online video games as “spiritual opium” and “electronic drugs”. Online games are Tencent’s huge business, so the company’s stock price immediately dropped 11%.
Investors sold off shares of Tencent and other Chinese game developers on concerns that online entertainment could be a new target in Beijing’s crackdown.
To cool down the tension, Tencent pledged to limit gaming time for minors. The Group also considers completely banning children under 12 from using video game applications.
Tencent collapsed as Chinese media called online games “opium”
Shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent have fallen sharply after an article in state media described the online game as a “mental opium”.