Pony Ma: Tencent is building networks to connect people, things, and intelligent devices

At today’s Tencent 2018 “Cloud + Future” Summit in Guangzhou, CEO Pony Ma introduced his new vision for the Tencent Cloud platform, dubbed the “three-net” concept (三张网), local media is reporting. The essence of the concept is to build up the “three nets”—IoP (Internet of People), IoT (Internet of Things), and IoI (Internet of Intelligence)—within the Tencent ecosystem.

Pony Ma at Tencent 2018 “Cloud + Future” Summit in Guangzhou (Image Credit: Tencent)

Here’s what Pony Ma’s new concept is about:

IoP: connecting people

Tencent aims to connect users of all types—including individuals, enterprises, and the government.

“Our strength has been in connecting people, but now we want to connect employees and staff working for enterprises as well as the government,” Pony said.

Essentially, Tencent wants to move from B2C to B2B and B2G. For example, Tencent recently rolled out a new WeChat mini program called 粤省事 (Yue Sheng Shi; roughly translated to “saving trouble”), which can handle over a hundred local government services. The mini-program is now available only to WeChat users in Guangdong but Tencent expects to eventually roll out the service nationwide. On the enterprise end, through the Tencent Cloud platform, Yonghui Superstores lets customers place orders on their smartphones and have groceries delivered to their doorsteps within 30 mins.

Yue Sheng Shi WeChat mini-program (Image Credit: 91ud.com)

IoT: connecting things

Ma said the key to connecting people and things is to breakdown the wall that stands between the physical world and digital world—which relies largely on the development of IoT.

“The QR code is the most convenient way to connect the digital and the physical world,” said Ma, but beyond that, Tencent has also seen results in vision computing, voice recognition, natural language processing, and other areas. In the future, Tencent will commit more resources to realize the “Internet of Everything.”

IoI: connecting intelligent systems and devices

Ma said Tencent hopes to draw support from its intelligent control system 超级大脑 (Super Brain; our translation) to realize its vision for IoI (Internet of Intelligence). The control system can be used to allocate resources and distribute tasks between cloud and edge, at any time, anywhere. The system can be used in smart cities, hospitals and the industrial, retail, and finance sectors. Ma said the Super Brain project aims to empower enterprises and local governments to build their own intelligent control system.

At the “Cloud + Future” Summit, Ma also revealed that the WeChat team is currently developing an onboard fully voice interactive system interface, which he sees as a smart solution for safety issues associated with connected cars. “Some of the connected car systems are not legitimate nor authorized by WeChat,” Ma said,  “and we do not hope WeChat users stare at their smartphone screens when driving, which is a big safety concern.”