In a forum held at Tsinghua University on 8th September 2017, Pony Ma, CEO and Chairman of Board of Directors of Tencent, seemed to be lost in Brian K. Kobilka’s lecture, the winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry introducing his research results and their future applications. “It sounds great,” Pony Ma said, “though I have caught only 30% of the content.”
Pony Ma said he had been dreaming of becoming a scientist but failed to realise it. Since Tencent has been cooperating with Tsinghua University and Peking University, both top institutions in China, he thinks of it as another way for exploring science and technology. In his opinion, the birthplace for innovation and perfect integration of commerce and technology is Standford University, and in comparison, China still needs to devote more efforts into industry, academia and research.
“Most of the Top 10 companies in the past were financial or energy companies, but the last several years have seen huge changes, namely that technology companies are taking those place. Tencent and Alibaba are on the list as well,” Ma said. “Goldman Sachs started to call itself a technology company and say its research personnel accounts for more than one third of its employees. Even an investment bank is working hard on developing technology; there is no reason for Tencent not to take action.”
So what will Tencent do with the wave of digitalisation and intellectualisation? With its experience accumulated on social media, communication, finance and digital content, it is inclined to pursue collaboration in artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data. Pony Ma predicted that in the near future, all the enterprises would be handling big data on cloud applications and this would be a universal behaviour. The idea of limiting data within intranet is out-of-date.
In addition, Tencent intends to explore outer space, satellites, medical treatment, gene technology, etc, and is ambitious to cover all aspects of technology. Earlier this year it has acquired a 5% stakes in Telsa, and Ma rated Telsa as the best guider for future technological development and creator of continuing innovations. “With its help, Tencent is approaching the technology of the future.”
Pony Ma also talked about Tencent’s “Half Strategy”: Tencent will focus on exerting its core superiority while loosening control over the businesses, and allow their partners to perform and grow. “In the past, we did everything by ourselves, worrying others would make a hash of things, but now we trust our partners and we rely on them.”
Nearly 40,000 Alibaba employees gathered for the 18th anniversary celebration in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on September 8th, 2017. Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma said he had spent 870 hours on fl...
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