- Tencent becomes the first Asian technology firm to reach the $500 billion valuation mark
- Its shares hit a record high on Tuesday
- The tech giant has a sprawling business with the WeChat messaging app, content and games
Chinese internet giant Tencent has surpassed Facebook in terms of market value just a day after it became the first Asian technology firm to reach the $500 billion valuation mark.
Tencent shares hit a record high of 439.6 Hong Kong dollars during Asian trading hours on Tuesday, giving it a market capitalization of 4.17 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($534.5 billion).
The Chinese firm's value overtook Facebook's $519.4 billion market capitalization, which was hit at the close of the U.S. markets on Monday.
Also Monday, Tencent beat Alibaba to become the first Chinese technology company to hit the $500 billion market capitalization mark. Tencent is also within touching distance of Amazon's $542.7 billion valuation.
Tencent went public in Hong Kong in 2004 at 3.70 Hong Kong dollars per share. Since then, it has rallied over 11,000 percent. Tencent's stock this year alone is up 126.69 percent.
Still, the company is not well-known outside of China, but owns the country's most popular messaging service, WeChat, which has close to 1 billion users. Tencent is a sprawling business that spans gaming, social media, news and content.
Online and mobile games are a key part of the business — the division brought in over $4 billion in revenue last quarter. In 2016, Tencent acquired a majority stake in Finnish smartphone maker Supercell, the company behind the popular "Clash of Clans" mobile game.
Tencent has also been trying to move outside of China, but not necessarily through the expansion of its own products. Instead, it has been making investments across the U.S. and Asia. It has acquired stakes in both Tesla and Snap, and invested in numerous start-ups in Asia, including India's Uber rival Ola.
Analysts were positive on Tencent's stock after it smashed past market expectations when it reported third quarter earnings earlier this month. Barclays raised its price target for Tencent from $49 to $59, and upped its revenue forecasts for 2018 and 2019.
"We mainly attribute accelerating revenue growth to the continued monetization improvement across multiple key business segments, such as gaming, video, and payment services, and note that user growth is still strong," Barclays said in a note on Monday.