Tencent announced today an Open Platform for smart hardware, offering a variety of capabilities empowered by QQ IM, Cloud services, mobile payments solution, among others.

Smart hardware developers will be able to have users log in with QQ IM accounts or interact with their QQ contacts, or locate users. Tencent’s mobile payments solution, which has been available on WeChat and Mobile QQ apps, will also be open to third-party hardware products — similar to how public accounts on WeChat take advantage of WeChat Payment to collect payments. The Cloud services Tencent has been operating for serving apps on its QQ IM platform will also store user data for smart gadgets.

Details will be disclosed later, the company said today. We heard earlier that WeChat was developing a similar program. Now it seems the one announced today is a separate one.

There are several similar programs in China leveraging the fast emerging smart hardware products. Chinese online retail giant JD.com has come up with an incubation program hoping to have as many smart gadget developers as possible sell their products on its site. Baidu offers Cloud and analytics services.

Tencent’s killer offering has always been QQ IM users which has more than 800 million monthly active users and 200 million concurrent accounts.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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