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Ma Huateng’s WeChat is China’s one true operating system

Ma Huateng is No. 18 on the Recode 100.

If you’re outside of Asia, it’s easy to miss Tencent’s dominance. But in China, the world’s largest mobile market, it’s the giant.

Propelled by its gaming business and WeChat — the mobile commerce and really mobile everything platform masquerading as a messaging app, which has 980 million monthly users — Tencent’s revenue last quarter reached almost $10 billion, growing more than 60 percent year over year. (Facebook posted $10.3 billion, growing 47 percent.) In late November, Tencent’s market capitalization edged past Facebook’s.

Outside of China, it’s a smaller player. But CEO Ma Huateng plans to launch its WeChat ecosystem in Malaysia next year. The company has been buying up Snap shares, purchasing more than 12 percent of the U.S.-based mobile messaging company, which has struggled since going public earlier this year.

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