Building Smarter Cities and Creating Games for Good Discussed in Singapore
Technology can improve life on Earth. That’s the belief that brought more than 2,000 thought leaders from all walks of life together in Singapore on March 8-11 for “Economist Impact's Technology for Change Week Asia.” Together, they examined ways technology and data-driven solutions can address many issues affecting the region’s growing population, such as food security, gender equality, and accessibility in education.
“The conference aligns perfectly with Tencent’s guiding principle, ‘Value for Users, Tech for Good,’” said Poshu Yeung, Senior Vice President at Tencent Cloud International. Yeung discussed cloud-based ways to foster public-private partnerships and create smarter, more harmonious cities throughout the world.
The Digital Path to Smarter Cities
“A strong, thriving digital ecosystem is key to creating and sustaining smart cities,” Yeung said during the conference.
“Local and regional governments and businesses of all sizes can work together and leverage technology to improve the quality of life. The private sector can lend its expertise and technical know-how to advise the government on how technology can benefit local businesses and people, who may have not yet realized how digitalization can improve their lives.”
For example, Tencent Cloud helped China’s Guangdong Province build a digital platform featuring more than 1,800 services and functions available to the residents. “The initiative makes it easy for citizens to access the government services they need. We’ve improved the service quality and efficiency to ensure the ease of use and accessibility,” Yeung added.
The digital world thrives on talent and Tencent Cloud has been offering innovative ways to help find and develop skilled tech workers to reach its full potential, Yeung said. “We launched the Tencent Cloud certification program last year and made the learning materials available for free on the international e-learning platform, Coursera. We also collaborated with Kydon Group to develop and offer cloud computing and other cutting-edge technology courses in Southeast Asia.”
Games for Good
The digitally native generations grew up using smartphones. Naturally, online games have become a part of lifestyle for many. Southeast Asia is a gaming hotspot – 82 percent of the region’s urban population are gamers. But gaming is more than just a leisure activity, said Vincent Wang, General Manager of Global Publishing and Global Esports at Tencent Games.
“Games, particularly mobile games, have become a social lifeline for young millennials,” Wang said at Technology for Change Week Asia.
“As a game publisher, we think it’s incumbent upon us to work with authorities, other industry participants, parents, and schools to educate and ensure the well-being of the younger generation. We strongly advocate ‘Games for Good.’”
Wang’s view is echoed by PUBG MOBILE, one of the world’s most popular mobile games, which uses the Tencent Games Gameplay Management System to help players moderate their play. The system reminds players to rest or stop after they’ve played for a certain amount of time. It also provides gaming advisory notices to minors.
PUBG MOBILE also gives players a chance to step beyond the gaming world and raise their awareness about making a positive impact on the planet. In 2019, PUBG Mobile partnered with Global Green to plant 150,000 trees in the Amazon rainforest and rebuild communities suffering from natural disasters caused by climate change. It also raised US$1.85 million for the Direct Relief Foundation through a “Play as One” event, which provided support to healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Video and mobile games have become a huge part of our everyday lives,” Wang said. “We seek to unleash the true power of gaming by championing a healthy, inclusive gameplay environment – and above all, drive games for good.”