A Digital Bridge for International Cooperation: Dowson Tong


At the AHK Greater China Xceleration Days (X-Days), the German-Chinese economic summit in Shanghai, Tencent Senior Executive Vice President and CEO of Tencent Cloud and Smart Industries Group Dowson Tong envisions the leveraging of digital connectivity to build real-world and long-lasting cooperation between enterprises, consumers, and society at large. Dowson was a keynote speaker at the Summit. An excerpt of his speech appears below.

Technology continues to advance at an unbridled pace. Today, we are more connected than ever with our reach and access in the digital space having grown exponentially. As a leading Chinese internet company, Tencent has both contributed to and benefitted from greater interconnectedness in the world. We are particularly proud that the wide range of unique technological offerings Tencent has released over the years has helped bring people, businesses and even nations closer together.

Tencent’s many cloud-based, open ecosystems, including our social communications tools, Weixin and WeChat, together with our content platforms, improve connection between companies, consumers, and society. Indeed, this underlines the commitment to connectivity and openness that is set out in our core mission and values.

Empowering the world, one user at a time

At the core of everything we do, we start with a focus on connectivity; specifically, that of the user. We consider the user’s experience on the consumer Internet and from there, we expand to the industrial internet. Ultimately, we want to promote and facilitate greater digital transformation across industries. As a necessity, the individual user experience must first be taken into account, followed by the manner in which they interact with each other in more formal enterprise or industry settings.

With connectivity taken care of, the next big focus is technology, which spurs innovation. In the last five years alone, we have invested over RMB230 billion (USD31.5 billion) into research and development. Our commitment here has been significantly rewarded with performance breakthroughs in many core digital technologies including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, audio and video, and cybersecurity. It may be interesting to note that Tencent is the second-largest holder of patents among internet companies worldwide.

Our R&D efforts have elevated our position as a leading global provider of cloud-based industrial digitalization tools. Our services cover 26 geographical regions, 70 availability zones and more than 2,800 acceleration nodes.

This large service footprint allows us to provide industry-leading and cost-effective services to major international players in the pharmaceutical, automotive, finance, entertainment, and education sectors.

As a result of Tencent’s unwavering focus on connectivity and technology, Tencent Cloud has successfully developed more than 400 foundational products. We have worked with partners all over the world to codevelop more than 130 industry solutions, effectively supporting customers and improving digitalization and smart services in a variety of service scenarios, from marketing to customer service to production and management.

In social communication, Tencent connects more than one billion users through QQ, Weixin/WeChat and other channels. In our latest development, we are excited to be building on these connections via the Internet of Everything to extend to industry use. To this end, our WeCom service now connects more than 12 million enterprises and organizations, while the number of Tencent Meeting users exceeds 300 million.

Coming to the focus of today’s summit, we are equally excited about the work we have embarked on in Germany. Tencent is privileged to have formed invaluable partnerships with some of Germany’s, and indeed the world’s, most prestigious brands like BMW, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and Software AG. While working to provide significant value to these eminent German companies, we are also well placed to help in the development of their businesses in the Chinese market.

Tencent Cloud and BMW, for example, are involved in comprehensive cooperative efforts on several fronts including smart cabins, in-vehicle Weixin, which is an in-car mini program ecosystem, as well as autonomous driving cloud and navigation maps.

Tencent’s Weixin Pay and various mini programs available in large department stores and shopping hubs across the country will help local merchants engage with Chinese travelers, and in turn, contribute to Germany’s digital economy.

A Digital Bridge for International Cooperation

Our focus on connectivity and technology goes beyond serving just consumers and enterprises. Tencent has long embraced social responsibility and we are committed to maximizing social value for society as a whole. We recognize the importance of helping to resolve social issues both in China, and around the world.

Technology for Good stands as our key value, and we have actively supported and explored solutions to major issues, leveraging our leading edge in digital technology.

For itself, Tencent is fully committed to achieving carbon neutrality and using 100% green electricity by 2030.

As we head into 2024, Tencent stands ready to work with all industry partners to explore new digital frontiers and opportunities in China, Germany, and around the world. There is no boundary in the digital space. With a focus on connectivity and technology, the digital bridge of international cooperation is always open. In an ever more interconnected world, we can all play a part in promoting digital cooperation and more important, global prosperity and development.