Tencent signs UK creative partnerships

Updated 2018-05-11 14:40:01

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

One of China's top three internet companies alongside Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Baidu Inc, Tencent is a pioneer of the nation's digital economy growth.

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, such as helping the Beijing-based Palace Museum to digitalize its information.

The deals announced in London on Wednesday are a continuation of this expansion into the cultural and creative industries. They also coincide with British companies' growing efforts to develop their businesses further afield, amid uncertainty over Britain leaving the European Union.

The agreements have been 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 said they were not being done with short-term profits in mind. Rather, the deals 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," Lau said.

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 in co-production and content distribution. The deal comes in the wake of last year's successful co-production of the documentary Blue Planet II, which garnered a record-breaking 220 million views.

The 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 Chinese customers.

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