Tencent, the Chinese Tech Giant behind WeChat, has announced a $70 billion (500 billion Yuan) investment towards emerging tech. These funds will be rolled out over the next five years covering areas such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
First reported by Reuters, the International media highlighted that the move comes shortly after Beijing's call for structural upgrades through ‘new infrastructure'. Tencent's Senior Executive VP, Dowson Tong, confirmed to state media that the firm is indeed scaling its footprint in new technologies. He further echoed this is likely to be a boost out of the COVID-19 economic effects,
“Expediting the ‘new infrastructure’ strategy will help further cement virus containment success.”
Other tech developments set to benefit from Tencent's $70 billion proceeds include quantum computing, 5G networks, big data centres and supercomputer centres. However, the firm did not clarify as to what percentage will be allocated to specific tech over the 5-year period.
China's Emerging Tech Craze
Despite the pressure from COVID-19 implications, China appears to have quickly picked up from where it left. Last week, the country's PPC and NPC meetings kicked off; these are annual delegation meetings designed for political advisory in China. Notably, some delegates suggested that PBoC should spearhead the creation of a regional stablecoin backed by four Asian currencies. A state-backed blockchain fund has also been suggested to further spur growth and integrate governance with emerging tech.
Other than the authorities, private entities within this Asian giant are setting pace for the global digital economy. Bitmain, one of the largest crypto mining rig manufacturers, is based in China and has thrived in the fast-changing business despite internal wrangles. Most of this success can be attributed to China's power capacity which has in the past favored miners within its jurisdiction. The country's population has also shown quite an appetite for Bitcoin and other altcoins in recent years.
Tencent's Prospects in Blockchain
Notably, Tencent is not a newcomer to the blockchain industry. The firm is a member of a national committee established to set industry standards for blockchain-based operations. It also launched a DLT based invoice system towards the end of last year and was granted permission by Hong Kong authorities to work on a virtual bank built on blockchain. It comes as no surprise that Tencent's shares surged by 2.5% following the $70 billion funding announcement.