Editor’s Note: The piece was written by Wenyuan Zhao, he lives in Beijing and has interestes in areas like digital journalism transformation,  social media, interactive marketing, innovation diffusion and society. You can follow him on Sina Weibo @Zhaowenyuan1985 or drop him a line at firewoodcn@gmail.com.

Tencent is embracing the big data opportunities and leveraging it to provide marketing solutions for client. However, privacy would still be the primary concern from users’ side.

At the Tencent Mind Conference held on April 24, Liu Shengyi, SEVP of Tencent and president of its Online Media Business, indicated that the development of enterprise informatization, social media and mobile Internet, which would also be  be where Tencent’s big data come from, are the main reasons that Tencent embraces big data for marketing.

 Facing the social and mobility wave, Tencent Mind Conference aims at promoting its marketing ideas and solutions. Some analysts believed Tencent’s “marketing mindset in big data era” is kind of “old ideas of data mining and database marketing repackaged in a new way” .

However, Liu emphasized that “integration of transaction and interaction data” is the marketing value of big data.”This is not only about technology, we need also consider many issues such as quality control and user privacy, etc..” He believed that,  to apply big data in marketing, marketers needs to “listening, understanding and action”.

Privacy is also one of the biggest concerns of Tencent’s millions of users. He quoted a saying from a former CIA analyst, claiming that now it is the golden age of data collection.Given the inferior personal information protection system in China, users may be offended if  they realize Tencent would mine their behavior records and share them in some ways with marketers.

 Pony Ma, founder and CEO of Tencent, also mentioned about privacy while he was having a public conversation with Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired on April 23. Kelly said, service providers needs to dig more if the customers hope to get personalized services. If they need privacy, they should not expect to get customized service. It’s up for our own discretion to enjoy the benefit of tailor-made services but losing control of privacy, or enjoy the safety brought by tight privacy control but sending away convenient and powerful services that just made for each one.

TechNode Guest Editors represent the best our community has to offer: insight and perspective on how technology is affecting business and culture in China

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