WeChat, the largest Chinese mobile messaging app, just crossed a milestone of 1 billion monthly active users in the past Chinese Lunar New Year, said Tencent’s founder and CEO Pony Ma.
Ma revealed the number when speaking on the sidelines with media while attending China’s Two Sessions, the annual parliamentary meeting of National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Ma is a delegate to the NPC and this year is his 6th participation of the sessions.
It’s commonplace for heads at some established Chinese internet companies to partake in the annual meeting and submit their proposals to the legislative body.
During his attendance at last year’s two sessions, Ma urged Beijing to build up a Chinese “Greater Bay Area” includes Hong Kong, Macau and cities in southern Guangdong province as part of a broader initiative to drive innovations in the region.
Ma’s proposals for this year, covering a wide range of topics from the “digital China” strategy, industrial internet, digital culture, financial security, Medicare among other things.
Tencent: Technology and Culture
Technology and culture are the two keywords centered around Ma’s suggestions to Beijing this year, they are also a reflection on the richest Chinese man’s thinking for the future development of the social media and gaming giant he founded.
Ma said that there’re few companies around the world with such a unique positioning that marries tech with culture – most of which are either tech companies or culture-centered. As to Tencent, it has a strong foothold in both fields.
He went on to explain that culture should be integrated with technology, they’re supposed to be closely knitted together. And technology is able to facilitate the evolvement of culture for years to come. For instance, many state-of-the-art technologies such as AR, VR, and AI could be combined with cultural content to create the new format of digital culture.
Ma believes that digital culture will be a new direction for the future. Aa a result of such thinking, he concluded that Tencent’s new positioning would be “technology plus culture.”
Adversarial Views on ICO
ICO and blockchain have been two of the most hotly debated topics since earlier this year in China. Entrepreneurs plunged into the area and venture capitalists are concerned over a potential bubble. China along with a slew of other Asian countries all tightened their regulations over ICO in fear of an uncontrollable cryptocurrency market.
Central governments’ sentiments were echoed by Ma, who said that his company is not interested in ICO-like cryptocurrency business.
However, Tencent, he said, subscribes to the potential of blockchain technologies which could be applied to solve many real-world business challenges. Tencent has been proactively exploring to use blockchain in various business scenarios, according to him.