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马化腾:身家雄厚的全球战略家
Pony Ma, the global strategist with deep pockets

来源:FT中文网    2018-01-09 07:05



        The man behind the world’s sixth-biggest tech company is no brash, hoodie-encased youth. Instead, Pony Ma, founder, chairman and chief executive of China’s Tencent, prefers suits. “Low profile”, the description almost invariably applied to him, doesn’t begin to capture his allergy to the limelight.        全球第六大科技公司背后的男人并不是个傲慢无礼、穿着连帽衫的年轻人。相反,中国腾讯(Tencent)的创始人、董事长兼首席执行官马化腾(Pony Ma)更喜欢穿西装。人们总是用“低调”来形容他,但这个词远不足以形容他对聚光灯的不喜。
        But, as this week’s brouhaha over data privacy demonstrated, it’s tough to stay in the shadows when you sit atop a goliath. Tencent is Facebook, Apple Pay, Spotify, gaming and reading rolled into one, and last year it generated $23bn of revenues and has amassed one of the biggest troves of data on the planet — in China, where government surveillance is axiomatic.        然而,最近由数据隐私引发的喧嚣表明,若高居巨人之上,就很难躲在暗处。腾讯集Facebook、Apple Pay、Spotify、游戏及阅读诸多功能于一身,去年取得了230亿美元的收入,并在政府监控成为理所当然的中国积累了全球最大规模的数据宝库之一。
        The engine for much of this data is WeChat, Tencent’s killer messaging app that boasts just shy of 1bn monthly active users. Fans — both investors and users, who spend an average of one and a half hours on it every day — adore its ubiquity. Critics are more scathing: dissident Hu Jia has called it “the monitoring weapon in your pocket”.        腾讯的大部分数据来源于微信(WeChat),这款杀手级即时通讯应用每月的活跃用户量接近10亿。它的无处不在令粉丝敬佩,其粉丝既包括投资者,也包括用户,后者平均每天使用微信一个半小时。批评者对微信的态度则更加尖锐:异议人士胡佳称之为“口袋里的监听武器”。
        These are tense times for Big Tech globally, as governments and disrupted industries scramble to set rules of engagement. In China, the situation is a bit more nuanced. Tencent and its peers such as Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com, benefit from Beijing’s desire to foster national tech champions and its block on the likes of Facebook, Google’s search engine and Twitter. In return, tech companies help with monitoring and censoring content the regime regards as undesirable.        眼下全球科技巨头面临紧张的形势,各国政府和受到颠覆的行业都在匆忙制定“交战规则”。在中国,情况更加微妙。中国政府希望提振本国科技领域的龙头企业,同时封锁了像Facebook、谷歌(Google)及Twitter这样的国外搜索引擎和社交网络平台,腾讯与阿里巴巴(Alibaba)、百度(Baidu)和京东(JD.com)等同行因此而得益。反过来,科技公司也会帮助政府监控和审查后者认为不好的内容。
        Mr Ma, who was born in the southern Chinese city of Shantou in 1971, has typically played his cards well. A member of the National People’s Congress, he is nearly always on message. “Follow our party/Start your business” proclaims the legend on a modernist cube across from the company’s new headquarters in Shenzhen, the tech metropolis across the border from Hong Kong, is apposite.        1971年出生于中国南方城市汕头的马化腾手段一贯很高明。作为全国人大代表,他几乎总是与官方保持一致。该公司深圳新总部正对着的一个现代主义立方体雕塑上,铭刻着“跟党一起创业”,在深圳这个与香港交界的科技大都会,这则标语显得很贴切。
        “We really are a great supporter of government in terms of information security. We try to have a better management, a better control of the internet,” he told delegates at a TechCrunch Disrupt fireside chat in 2011.        “我们也是非常理解和支持,在政府、信息安全的管理方面能够做更好的控制和管理,”马化腾在2011年Techcrunch Disrupt炉边谈话中对代表们说。
        But the 46-year-old, worth $47.7bn according to Forbes, has stumbled too — notably when Beijing accused Honour of Kings        福布斯(Forbes)的数据显示,今年46岁的马化腾身价477亿美元,但他也并非是一帆风顺的——特别是当中国政府点名批评腾讯广受欢迎的游戏《王者荣耀》(Honour of Kings)令玩家上瘾并危害少年儿童时。对此,腾讯对未成年玩家的游戏时间出台了限制,并称这些新规为“史上最严防沉迷措施”。
        , Tencent’s massively popular game, of being addictive and bad for children. The company responded by limiting the time youngsters can play, calling the new rules the “most serious anti-addiction measures in history”.        然而,据与其共事的人称,马化腾的思维绝对是战略性的。“有些人说他是蝎子:懂得伺机而动,”长期关注腾讯的分析师马修•布伦南(Matthew Brennan)说。
        Yet Mr Ma is, say those who work with him, utterly strategic in his thinking. “Some people describe him as a scorpion: he will wait and then strike,” says analyst Matthew Brennan, a long-time follower of the company.        “马化腾与其顶级团队将此视为一场围棋的博弈,并总是思考得很长远,”他说。“如果他们这样看,那就需要大量纪律。”
        “Pony and his top team are looking at this as a game of Go and always thinking long-term,” he says. “If that is how they look at it, it takes an incredible amount of discipline.”        纪律在其它方面也显而易见。马化腾在2016年带领他的高层管理人员徒步穿越戈壁滩进行团队建设,据一位事后听闻此举的人士称,其间马化腾对两名打算放弃的高管不予理会。最终他们还是继续走完全程。
        Discipline is evident elsewhere. Leading his top executives on a team-building trek through the Gobi desert in 2016, Mr Ma — according to a person who heard about it afterwards — gave short shrift to two who were all for turning tail. They duly carried on.        腾讯约40000名员工中的一些人正在谈论如何建立共识:鼓励团队合作、表彰(并奖励)明星员工,但也同样欢迎批评与辩论。但这并不是说要排除一些残酷的做法:马化腾支持内部竞争,成立两个团队——彼此互不知情——根据相同的要求分别开发产品,微信就是这样诞生的。据内部人士称,马化腾自己也曾熬夜写代码到清晨,这广为人知。
        Some employees, of whom there are about 40,000, talk of a consensus-building approach: team work is encouraged, stars are lionised (and rewarded) but criticism and debate are also welcomed. Not that this precludes some cut-throat antics: Mr Ma is a fan of internal competition, setting up two teams — unknown to each other — with the same brief to create what is now WeChat. Mr Ma himself, according to insiders, has been known to sit up writing lines of code into the early morning.        至于外部竞争,腾讯和阿里巴巴在各业务领域都针锋相对。曾是一名英语老师的马云(Jack Ma),一手创建了阿里巴巴,他是马化腾旗鼓相当的同姓对手:马云喜好广交全球领袖人物、设立野心勃勃的目标,爱做一些鲁莽之举,每每上台发言总令助手们捏一把汗。
        As for external competition, Tencent and Alibaba are all over each others’ turf. Jack Ma, the former English teacher who founded Alibaba, is the antithesis of his namesake: fêting world leaders, setting bold targets and his penchant for shooting from the hip leave his minders gently perspiring whenever he takes the stage.        但在上个月广州举办的《财富》全球论坛(Fortune Global Forum)上,语出惊人的却是马化腾。他强调腾讯允许开发者们在其开放平台上创建自己的应用程序和服务,而无需缴纳租金,这巧妙地挖苦了阿里巴巴。
        But at the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou last month it was Pony Ma who twisted the knife. He highlighted the way Tencent empowers developers to build their own apps and services on its open platform without charging rental fees, a sly dig at Alibaba.        然而,就像阿里巴巴一样,马化腾也希望走向全球。目前为止,他所采取的方式主要还是海外投资持股,以及在海外市场推广主要面向游客的微信支付(WeChat Pay)(腾讯的线上支付服务)等服务。去年腾讯入股了Snap及电动汽车制造商特斯拉(Tesla)。
        However, like Alibaba, Mr Ma wants to go global. So far, this has largely taken the form of stake building and rolling out services such as WeChat Pay, its online payments service, in overseas markets, mainly aimed at tourists. Last year it amassed stakes in Snap and electric vehicle maker Tesla.        多年来,马化腾一直以英语主持董事会议和财报会议(引发的关注却不及马克•扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)在中文上下的功夫),只有在深度讨论时才说普通话。像中国内地的其他企业巨头一样,他在香港安了家,让家人在那里生活,小孩在那里接受教育。
        Mr Ma has for some years conducted board meetings and results conferences in English (occasioning fewer collective gasps than Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts in Chinese), only segueing into Mandarin for in-depth discussions. Like other mainland tycoons, he keeps a home in Hong Kong where his family live and his young children are educated.        他还缜密地在自己身边部署了一个互补性很强的高层管理团队,其中两名成员是他从高盛(Goldman Sachs)挖过来的。但银行家们毫不怀疑他参与了大大小小的交易——这很不简单,因为腾讯是中国收购胃口最大的公司之一。
        He has also been careful to surround himself with a highly complementary cabal of top executives, two of whom were plucked from Goldman Sachs. But bankers are under little doubt that he is involved in deals big and small — no mean feat as Tencent is one of the country’s most acquisitive buyers.        和众多中国的科技巨头一样,马化腾的偶像也是已故的史蒂夫•乔布斯(Steve Jobs)。到目前为止,在市值排行榜上,腾讯与乔布斯与人联合创立的排在榜首的苹果之间只有四家公司。马化腾想要保持低调只会越来越难。
        Mr Ma’s idol, like many of China’s tech titans, is the late Steve Jobs. As of now, there are only four companies between top-ranking Apple that Mr Jobs co-founded and Tencent, based on value. Keeping a low profile is only going to get harder.        译者/何黎
                
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