Tencent and UK trade dept team up for ‘Cultural Creative’ drive

14/05/2018

Chinese web giant Tencent and the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) of the United Kingdom (UK) have partnered to launch various “Culture Creative” initiatives.

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The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade and Seng Yee Lau, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent officiated the ceremony, where a number of key DIT officials and representatives of various renowned local corporations were also in attendance.

Following the signing of the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ , Tencent will work closely with British institutions and corporations, including British Tourist Authority, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), British Fashion Council (BFC), Springer Nature and many others.

“We are delighted to enter into collaboration with Tencent, drawing on each other’s strengths to accelerate the growth of the global digital creative industries, in which the UK is a world leader. As an international economic department, we are determined to help UK companies to forge new global trading ties that will boost trade, drive growth and provide jobs to every part of the country.” Said the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, UK Secretary of State for International Trade.

“Openness, partnership and sharing at a global level have become our common vision for the future of human development in this digital era, within this context, the Memorandum of Cooperation to be signed between Tencent and the UK Department for International Trade is of great significance. As a culture and technology corporation with strong foundation in the Internet world, Tencent has always been actively exploring how we could empower people through Internet technology and other innovations like artificial intelligence (AI),” says Seng Yee Lau, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent. “The culture and technology industries in the United Kingdom are well recognized around the world, and we believe that there will be a lot of collaboration opportunities in the future. Imagine a time, not long from now, when the empowering nature of digitization is available to everyone in the world. What we are doing today is a first step towards making that image a reality.”

Collaboration in digital culture and creativity covers film and television high-end art and gaming

Tencent will kick-off collaboration with leading British enterprises and corporations in the arena of digital creativity, with a focus on film and television, high-end art and gaming in the initial phase.

In the film and television sector, Tencent Penguin Pictures will sign a three-year partnership with the BBC on co-production, content development, business licensing, and marketing and distribution of content-rich documentaries on diverse topics. In 2017, Blue Planet II, which is jointly produced by Tencent Video and the BBC, broke the global record as the most viewed documentary. The program has garnered a record-breaking 220 million views and has topped the Douban Documentary ratings with an overall score of 9.9.

In the high-end art sector, Tencent has been working closely with the industry to introduce and promote quality high-end art content to China. Tencent Online Media Group has been collaborating with the Royal Opera House on a series of strategic comprehensive collaborations. One example is the par World Ballet Day partnership, during which Tencent Video, together with Tencent News, WeChat and Tencent Live, collaborated with the Royal Opera House to conduct a 20-hour World Ballet Day live stream during the National Holiday in China. Together, the four platforms cover most of the internet users in China.

Tencent will also leverage cultural intellectual property (IP) and gaming resources to achieve integration of culture and entertainment. Together with the British Tourist Authority, renowned British IP content corporations and British fashion institutions, Tencent will introduce a British version of the “QQ Speed Mobile Game”, a 3D mobile racing game launched in 2017, which has 100 million registered users and more than 20 million daily active users (DAUs) to date. The British version will feature unique cultural elements in new tracks, game characters, background music and game character costumes. In collaboration with the University of Oxford, Tencent eSport will create tournaments and courses to drive global development of eSports, a growing global industry that recorded close to US$ 700 million in revenue in 2017, and expected to reach US$1.5 billion by 2020.

Tencent will also establish strategic partnership with the British Fashion Council to design innovative, digital solutions for the fashion industry. Tencent Youtu Lab and Qzone will team up with British fashion designers in a pilot project to integrate AI technology and big data analysis into fashion design, to generate a deeper understanding of young people’s preferences and integrate technology with art. Prior to the current collaboration, Tencent Youtu Lab partnered with China’s pioneering designer Zhang Chi, to identify colours that were most popular among the post-1995 generation through computer vision and Big Data analysis, and organized the industry’s first “AI + Fashion” show during the 2017 New York Fashion Week.

Focusing on advanced technologies and launch special award to support young scientists

Tencent takes long-term investment in cutting-edge technologies such as AI and quantum computing very seriously, and has been identifying collaboration opportunities around the world. Among the technological collaborations with organizations in the UK, Tencent has forged a long-term partnership with the University of Oxford on frontier disciplines, such as quantum computing and computer vision to promote the integrated development of academia and industry sector. On AI technology, Tencent and Babylon Health, a leading UK-based AI healthcare provider, signed a collaboration agreement to offer AI health consultation service on WeChat in the near future.

Tencent AI Lab and Nature Research, a division of leading academic and educational publisher Springer Nature, has also formed a strategic partnership to support the interdisciplinary collaboration between the healthcare industry and AI research communities. The partnership will develop and implement more “AI+ Healthcare” products and applications through scholarships and industry-academic research exchange. Tencent Artificial Intelligence Medical Innovation System (AIMIS) was launched in 2017 as Tencent’s first step into the “AI+ Healthcare” sector. This innovative technology can perform an endoscopic examination in less than four seconds, with a 90% accuracy for detecting early cases of oesophageal cancer. The product has already been adopted by more than 100 top hospitals across China, and its usage has been expanded to screening for multiple diseases, including pulmonary nodules, diabetes and ocular fundus disease.

In addition, Tencent and Nature Research has also introduced a special award to encourage young investigators around the world to conduct interdisciplinary research to address key challenges faced by humanity. In 2018, the award will focus on breakthroughs in the “AI+ Healthcare” sector. In addition to monetary incentive, winners will also be given the opportunity to speak alongside world famous technological innovators at the Tencent WE Summit, and share their research achievements with audience from across the globe.

Tencent WE Summit was founded in 2013 as an annual global science and innovation event, and has been hailed as one of the most influential technology events in China. Since 2017, Tencent has co-organized the WE Summit with strategic partner Springer Nature. As a non-commercial event, Tencent WE Summit connects breakthroughs in scientific discovery with cutting-edge thinking and technology to stimulate innovation and discovery of various possibilities in an ever-changing world. The event attracts global technology practitioners, media and young people who are passionate about science and technology. In 2017, the global live broadcast of the WE Summit garnered over 9.08 million online viewers.

Key speakers of the WE Summit who shared their research achievements and forward-looking insights included preeminent cosmologist the late Stephen Hawking, Barry Barish, one of the key contributors to detecting gravitational waves and Nobel Laureate in Physics, Tim Berners Lee, founder and director of World Wide Web Consortium, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, Ito Koichi, director of MIT Media Lab), Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of XPRIZE Foundation and Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto.

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