To many people, especially in this part of the world, it would be unthinkable a social media company better and more valuable than Facebook.

But here you have it, China's Tencent, which owns the WeChat brand, has leapfrogged Facebook to become one of the world's top five most valuable companies.

Chinese social media and video game giant, Tencent became more valuable than Facebook on Tuesday as investors sent the company soaring into the top five of the world's biggest firms.

Tencent's Hong Kong-listed shares have doubled in value this year, and on Monday it became the first Asian company with a market capitalisation of half a trillion dollars.

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By the end of the trading day on Tuesday, Tencent's outstanding shares were worth some combined 4.08 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($523 billion), surpassing Facebook's $519 billion.

But this despite this stratospheric climb, Tencent is still some way behind the world's most valuable company, Apple, which is currently valued at $873 billion.

Last week, Tencent said profit had grown nearly 70% in the third quarter, when compared with the same period last year, well outpacing expectations.

Its accelerating growth has sent its shares shooting higher in recent days.

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