Tencent’s low-profile founder praises China’s new support for private firms

BEIJING (Reuters) – Pony Ma, the low-profile founder of Tencent, on Thursday published an article in state media praising Beijing’s new supportive policies for the private sector, as a shift in tone towards Chinese technology companies continues.

His article, published by state broadcaster CCTV, said Tencent was “excited and encouraged” by the government’s guidelines, which he described as clear and “highly targeted.”

The social media and gaming giant would take measures such as increasing independent innovation to implement the spirit of the guidelines, he said.

Ma, like many of his founder peers such as Alibaba’s unrelated Jack Ma, had in recent years receded from the public limelight as Beijing cracked down on the technology industry.

Chinese regulators, however, have been changing their tone as they try to spur a post-pandemic economic recovery, signalling the crackdown is over and holding meetings with tech companies as well as other private firms.

Last year, Tencent’s Ma caused a social media stir when he reposted an article on China’s economy that lamented there were few people in China willing to speak up about the pressures facing the country’s economy and businesses.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Jamie Freed)