It is Africa’s SoftBank: the continent’s most valuable company by virtue of owning a significant piece of one of Asia’s tech giants. Naspers — a publisher once condemned as a mouthpiece of the apartheid regime in SA — has quietly become one of the world’s biggest internet investors thanks to a stake in China’s Tencent that it originally paid $32m for in 2001. Its near 30% stake in the Hong Kong-listed gaming and WeChat giant, is now worth $133bn.

Few other bets come close in the investing hall of fame. The one it most resembles is the initial $20m gamble Masayoshi Son, the SoftBank founder, took on Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce group, in 2000. That stake is now worth almost $132bn and has turned SoftBank into one of the world’s most powerful tech investors.

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