Mar 25, 2021

Legend: ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng

Tencent
Pony Ma
Technology
Leadership
Paddy Smith
1 min
He’s the founder and face of Tencent, Asia’s most valuable company. But what makes ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng a legend?
He’s the founder and face of Tencent, Asia’s most valuable company. But what makes ‘Pony’ Ma Huateng a legend...

He’s one of the world’s richest men and the founder of a technology empire. His name? Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma to his friends and disciples (Ma means ‘horse’). Unlike Alibaba founder Jack Ma (no relation), Huateng keeps a low profile, but the influence he wields is like that of few others.

Huateng was the first Chinese person to hit the top 10 of Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people. His investment strategy has been compared to that of the Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett. But his wealth creation stems from Tencent, the company he founded in 1998.

Tencent’s killer app is WeChat, the ubiquitous Chinese communication app that also bakes in banking, ecommerce and much else besides. But Huateng is also fiercely acquisitive and has amassed a wealth of further opportunities in the tech space.

He has also set up a charitable foundation – the Ma Huateng Global Foundation – to which he donated $2.3 billion worth of Tencent stock in 2016.

Huateng started out designing software for pagers, for which he is reported to have been paid $176 a month. He now owns property and artwork valued at around $150 million, not to mention that all important 9.7 per cent share of Tencent.

Share article

Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

Share article