Tencent gives big bonus to top bosses

April 02, 2019 14:22
Chinese internet giant Tencent has set new benchmarks in rewarding top executives holding key roles at the firm. Photo: Reuters

Tencent Holdings has taken executive compensation to a new level, spending more a billion Hong Kong dollars on just two people among its senior ranks last year.

As per information in its annual report, the Chinese internet giant offered a staggering HK$628 million in pay, perks and bonus to one of its top managers in 2018.

And that's not all. The next highest paid executive took home an eye-popping HK$546 million in total annual compensation.

But those two top earners are not Pony Ma, the firm's founder and chief executive, and Martin Lau Chi-ping, who holds the title of president.

So, who were they?

Well, we don't know, as the identities have not been revealed. As the two executives are not directors of the company, Tencent apparently didn't need to disclose their names.

That, not surprisingly, has set off a guessing game. 

Media reports suggest that the highest paid person was Mark Ren, chief operating officer of the company. As for the person who ranked second in salary and bonus, the chatter points to Allan Zhang Xiaolong, the senior vice president who is responsible for the WeChat operation.

Looking at the figures, we notice that the salaries of the top two earners at Tencent were about 30 percent higher in a year that saw roughly 20 percent slide in the share price of the internet giant.

Also, the salaries were way above what President Martin Lau, a former Goldman Sachs banker who is considered to be among the highest paid blue-chip executives, took home during the year.

Lau made HK$267 million last year, which is no small sum by any means. 

The Tencent president also led all blue-chip executives in terms of net worth, not counting those in family-run businesses, with his holdings of company stock valued at nearly HK$20 billion.

He may not be the No. 1 earner at his firm, but Lau, with his solid fortune, definitely makes many Hong Kong corporate bosses turn green with envy.  

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EJ Insight writer