Tencent’s tech tentacles stretch into numerous consumer touchpoints, including messaging, commerce, video, music, and live streaming. But for Edward Cheng, there is a new area of growth for the company: the integration of technology and culture.
Cheng has been responsible for the development of a number of new culture-related products that integrate with the broader Tencent ecosystem.
In February the company partnered with the Chinese Mogao Grottoes tourist destination in western China’s Gansu Province to initiate a mini program on WeChat. Online visits topped 12 million in the first two months, five times that of the entire average annual tourist arrivals at Mogao.
Chen has also collaborated recently with the Palace Museum, housed inside Beijing’s Forbidden City. The program aims to adopt an innovative approach to digitizing the former Imperial Palaces, leveraging Tencent’s strength in areas such as cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence.
“Many profound changes are taking place in the field of cultural products due to technology development,” Cheng tells Business Insider. “Going online from offline, the relationships among cultural institutions, designers, producers, and consumers are being redefined, and those changes will give birth to many new business possibilities.”