Tencent initiates cultural collaboration with UK government

The Chinese media giant is to bring its mobile games and esports efforts to the UK.
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Tencent and the Department of International Trade have announced a new partnership with the UK government to boost film, TV, art and gaming in the UK. As a result, the Chinese giant will “work closely with British institutions and corporations, including British Tourist Authority, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), British Fashion Council (BFC), Springer Nature and many others to launch various ‘Culture Creative’ initiatives,” the announcement said.

The partnership will see mobile game QQ Speed, which has already been a massive hit in China, brought to UK shores with a localisation unique to the region.

The racing game has 100m users and over 20m daily active users to date. The British version will “feature unique cultural elements in new tracks, game characters, background music and game character costumes,” Tencent said.

Tencent will also support esports in the UK, by creating “tournaments and courses” in partnership with the University of Oxford.

In the film and TV sector, Tencent Penguin Picture (the firm’s production company) will “sign a three-year partnership with the BBC on co-production, content development, business licensing, and marketing and distribution of content-rich documentaries on diverse topics,” mentioning Blue Planet II (co-produced by Tencent and the BBC) has an example of a previous successful partnership between the two firms.

“We are delighted to enter into collaboration with Tencent, drawing on each other’s strengths to accelerate the growth of the global digital creative industries, in which the UK is a world leader," commented Liam Fox MP, UK Secretary of State for International Trade. "As an international economic department, we are determined to help UK companies to forge new global trading ties that will boost trade, drive growth and provide jobs to every part of the country.”

Seng Yee Lau, senior executive VP at Tencent, added: “The culture and technology industries in the United Kingdom are well recognized around the world, and we believe that there will be a lot of collaboration opportunities in the future. Imagine a time, not long from now, when the empowering nature of digitization is available to everyone in the world. What we are doing today is a first step towards making that image a reality.”

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