Naspers was founded, in 1915, as De Nasionale Pers Beperkt (National Press Ltd) as a publisher and printer of newspapers and magazines. It was founded by W. A. Hofmeyr, a well-known Cape lawyer and National Party organizer; Jannie Marais, a prominent Stellenbosch farmer, purchased a quarter of the 20,000 issued £1 shares in the new company.
Naspers first published the Afrikaans language daily De Burger (later renamed Die Burger) in June 1915, which was followed by its first magazine, De Huisgenoot (later Die Huisgenoot), in 1916.
In 1918, the company added book publishing to its portfolio, making it one of Africa's most significant media hubs. In 1985, the company launched the first pay-TV system, evolving from publisher to media company.
Since 1994, the company has been listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa and has been designated as part of the Top 10 index over the past several years. Nasionale Pers officially changed its name to Naspers in 1998.
Naspers purchased 46.5 percent of Chinese internet company Tencent, owner of WeChat, and an array of fintech apps and mobile games, from early investors, including PCCW and IDG Capital (then a start-up), in 2001. The investment paid off for Naspers in dramatic fashion, boosting Naspers stock price over time, and making it the most valuable publicly traded business in Africa by 2017.
According to African Business magazine, Naspers Ltd was the biggest media company and ranked the second-largest public company in Africa.
According to en.wikipedia and africanbusinessmagazine.com