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Tencent signs UK creative partnership deals

By  : INDICS Operator Updated  :   2018-05-14 09:54:45

Source: China Daily

Chinese tech giant Tencent has announced several high-profile deals to help British creative industry companies and organizations, such as the BBC and British Fashion Council, reach the Chinese market.

Tencent, one of China's top three internet companies alongside Alibaba and Baidu, is a pioneer in China's digital economy growth. It is most widely known as the parent company of WeChat, the Chinese equivalent of WhatsApp.

The company derives most of its revenue from games, but in recent years it has engaged with a number of cultural and creative industry projects in China, including helping China's Palace Museum and Dunhuang Research Academy to digitalize their information.

The basket of deals announced in London on Wednesday is a continuation of this expansion into cultural and creative industries and coincides with British companies' growing efforts to develop business further afield, amid uncertainty over Britain leaving the European Union.

The deals are bundled together in an official partnership signed between Tencent and the British government's Department for International Trade.

Seng Yee Lau, senior executive vice-president of Tencent, said the deals will see the company using its digital technology strength to help scale up the impact of the UK's world-leading creative and cultural industry products.

He added that they were not being done with short-term profits in mind. Rather, they fit in with the company's vision to create an open and free information ecosystem.

"Openness, partnership and sharing at a global level have become our common vision for the future of human development in this digital era," said Lau.

Liam Fox, the UK's secretary of state for international trade, said the deals will "accelerate the growth of the global digital creative industries, in which the UK is a world leader".

In the film sector, Tencent's subsidiary Penguin Pictures will work with the BBC in a three-year partnership on co-production and content distribution. The deal comes in the wake of last year's successful co-production of the nature documentary Blue Planet II, which garnered a record-breaking 220 million views, partly thanks to huge viewer numbers in China.

Tencent is working with the British Tourist Authority to launch a British version of its successful mobile game QQ Speed, which will include British cultural elements such as game characters, costumes and music. The game, launched in China in 2017, has already achieved tremendous success, attracting more than 20 million daily active users.

Tencent's partnership with the British Fashion Council focuses on using Tencent's artificial intelligence technology and big-data analysis to help British fashion companies better target their customers.

Tencent is also launching a special award for artificial intelligence and healthcare breakthroughs with Nature Research, a division of the academic publisher Springer Nature. The winners, to be selected later this year, will be given financial rewards and an opportunity to speak at the Tencent WE Summit, which is Tencent's own annual TED-like conference.

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