#TencentInnovates: In the Heart, in the City, in History, in AI


Innovation is a driving force behind what we do at Tencent. Spearheading tools and ideas that address real-world challenges and deliver benefits to consumers, business, and society — this motivates all of us.  

But what does “innovation” really mean? In our second #TencentInnovates series, we illustrate the real-world impact of innovative thinking and creative, socially conscious problem solving through seven stories. Each one explores a breakthrough that enhances quality of life and promotes sustainability. 

Read on for seven windows into how tech has been transforming daily life for the better. 

1. Screening for Heart Defects Saves Babies and Strengthens Communities 

When doctors found a small heart hole in Wu Fei’s newborn, the father of two and hospital worker was worried. Congenital heart defects affect many newborns each year, contributing to infant mortality.  

This is why the Screen-Diagnose-Treatment Network was developed. The project supports infant heart screening in low-resource areas in China. Simple cases of ventricular or atrial septal defects now have cure rates exceeding 99 percent; surgery can fully restore normal heart structure. Very simply: Early detection can save lives. 

A Weixin mini program streamlines coordination among medical professionals, provides real-time updates to parents, and enhances diagnosis accuracy. All of this can significantly boost treatment outcomes for newborns in low-resource areas in China.  

2. Taking the Bus Is Smart and Getting Smarter 

Imagine stepping onto a minibus that drives itself. Once you’re in, it plans the best route to your destination. If you’re an older person who needs extra time or assistance, the minibus can adapt its route and stops on the spot, ensuring your ride is hassle-free.  

This is the world that Tencent is envisioning through our WeCityX Future City Co-creation Program. According to the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 68 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050, up from 55 percent in 2018, adding another 2.5 billion people to cities. With this mobility project, our team is testing self-driving minibuses within the bustling industry park where Tencent’s headquarters are located in Beijing.

These vehicles operate based on real-time traffic updates, helping to reduce traffic jams and emissions. Next up, safer, more sustainable and livable cities. Old fashioned bus, meet high-tech makeover. 

3. AI Gave a Whole New Life to a Smashed Antiquity  

Preserving ancient cultural artifacts is difficult and costly, especially when they are fragile and damaged. Recently, however, Tencent assisted in the ground-breaking reconstruction of a 4,500-year-old bronze statue—a mythical four-legged beast with a worshipper kneeling on its back—found at the Sanxingdui archaeological site in China.  

A multifragment splicing algorithm, based on 3D deep learning and verified on simulated datasets, helped the project team particularly in the case of missing fragments.

Tencent’s contributions to the digital restoration process are featured in a video unveiled as part of a new exhibition hall opened at Sanxingdui Museum in July. The unearthed relics and the 3D-printed version of the restoration are also on display in the new exhibition hall. 

This achievement paves the way for a wealth of other cultural treasures to be digitally preserved for generations to come. 

4. Mahjong Helps Tackle Real-World Problems 

AI can face challenges in making intelligent decisions when dealing with real-world scenarios. LuckyJ, an AI for mahjong games, has been working to overcome the hurdle by continuously learning from its mistakes through self-play. This approach goes beyond just achieving a higher score. It represents important progress in training AI to find solutions to a range of complex problems.  

5. Open Source Initiatives Invite Collaboration 

Tencent has a strong track record of releasing open-source software, empowering developers, and encouraging collaboration and innovation in the process. To date, more than 160 independent R&D projects have been initiated across a breadth of basic software and core technology fields. One of the latest actions has been the donation of important compiler software that can be accessed by millions of developers to translate source code language for use across multiple platforms, which is crucial for the growth of digital infrastructure.  

6. Palm Scan Technology Makes It Easier to Shop and Commute

Traditional payment methods can lack the convenience, security, and privacy that modern consumers seek in their transactions. That’s where Tencent's pioneering new Palm Scan Payments system comes in. With just a simple wave of your hand across a secure palm reader, you can access a range of goods and services such as transport, gyms, shops and convenience stores, while ensuring data privacy. Although still in pilot phase, the technology has the potential to reshape the digital payment landscape in a speedy, safe and convenient way. 

7. Tencent Cloud Debuted a Sweeping New Platform 

Tencent Cloud unveiled its proprietary large foundation model, Hunyuan, in 2023. The platform supports a range of intelligent functions, including image creation, copywriting, text recognition, and customer service. Its robust language processing and logical reasoning capabilities streamline tasks, improve efficiency, and reduce costs for businesses while protecting data privacy and improving consumer interaction. More than 50 large model industry solutions covering over 10 sectors including tourism, finance, public services, social media, e-commerce, transport, and games are offered through its Models as a Service (MaaS) framework.