Ahead of Tencent’s seventh annual Global Partner Conference to be held on November 8-9, where third-party developers and partners around the world gather to learn about the latest moves of the Chinese tech behemoth, Tencent’s founder and CEO Pony Ma released an open letter (in Chinese) on October 30 outlining seven key areas where the company is flexing its muscles.

  1. Deep integration: Promote interconnection between internet companies and traditional industries.

  2. Cloud sharing: Enhance data capacity of artificial intelligence by spearheading cloud adoption.

  3. Smart connection: Link up with a diversity of smart solutions to encourage ecosystem collaboration.

  4. Whole user base: Transition from a multi-user platform to a whole-user platform, to include not just consumers and businesses but everyone, including the government.

  5. Big content: Being “big” doesn’t just mean owning a lot of content and traffic but also variety so as to satisfy the needs of the whole user base.

  6. New technology: Lead technological advancement in conjunction with partners.

  7. Wide platform: Nurture a symbiotic digital ecosystem that supports the sustainable growth of all players and focuses on solving users’ pain points.

The one area that has attracted eyeballs is “smart connection”, which mainly applies to Tencent’s partnership with China’s top online retailer JD.com. E-commerce has never been Tencent’s strong suit, but the social network and gaming giant has been able to take on Alibaba’s e-commerce endeavors by forming a close alliance with JD.

Their latest move takes the form of the “JD-Tencent Retail Marketing Solution” in preparation for the country’s biggest annual shopping spree, Single’s Day on November 11. Announced on October 17, the project will merge consumer behavior from Tencent’s social platforms with online and offline shopping data from JD and its brand partners. The project has also coined the term “boundless retail” to take aim at Alibaba’s “new retail”, which, in Jack Ma’s own words, is “the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain.”

Tencent is currently JD’s largest shareholder with a 21.25% stake.

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.

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