Tencent’s CEO Pony Ma is not very well known for his media appearances. So, when he joined the discussion about Hong Kong’s future, it took political analysts like Andy Mok by surprise, he tells Bloomberg.
“The typical move is just to keep your head down ahead of July 1 and the Party Congress,” said Andy Mok, managing director for Beijing-based internet consultancy Red Pagoda Resources, referring to a leadership reshuffle later this year. “It could be that Tencent sees this as an internal strategic move to strengthen its dominance in gaming, finance, and it also creates a symbolic meaning of leadership,” he said, calling Ma’s effort “a bold move.”
Ma’s emergence into the spotlight is highly unusual for a Chinese entrepreneur who shuns media appearances and interviews. He graces at most a couple high-profile events a year, at which he consistently refrains from extensive public pronouncements. It reflects how a new generation of Chinese tech tycoons are fast becoming de-facto ambassadors for their country. Jack Ma is among the most assured of his cohort, jetting around the world to plug his vision of helping small businesses thrive.
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