In Paris, Tencent reveals its vision for education and promises to clean WeChat from rumors

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In preparation for the VivaTech conference, the “world’s rendezvous for startups and leaders,” French President Emmanuel Macron invited representatives from 50 tech giants including Tencent to the “Tech for Good Summit” held in Paris May 24.

Tencent decided to focus on education mentioning that its Tencent Class has 300 million registered users and over 100,000 courses. As Sengyee Lau, Senior Executive Vice President and Chairman of Market and Global Branding of Tencent revealed, China’s largest College Wechat Ecology Service Platform—Tencent Micro College—has joined hands with 3,800 colleges across China, providing digital campus solutions.

The company also said that its mobile game Honor of Kings will receive a new educational feature called History Classes of Kings. The massively popular game was criticized by state media People’s Daily last year in July causing Tencent’s share price to plunge.

Tencent initiated the concept of “Tech for Social Good” in 2017, according to the company. Another project Tencent is working on is containing rumors on the “national-level social platform” WeChat.

“In 2017, WeChat started from the user’s point of view and added new features directly to dispel rumors in the article. Rumors detected were presented with “unreal information” pattern and clarification given by the scientific institutions introduced were attached. Such measures are not just ‘stopping rumors from the source,’ but also allowing the original audience of rumors to gradually acquire the ability to judge scientifically and evade rumors.” —Sengyee Lau

Lau quoted civil rights activists Malcolm X saying that “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” He added that comparing with teaching skills, it is more important to use education to shape the people’s three core views (i.e., the views of the world, life, and value).

“With the support of the science and technology, we could return to the original education intention, which is cultivating people to be kind, honest, optimistic and philanthropical,” said Lau.

Lau also revealed that Tencent is working on other education projects with China’s Ministry of Education, including the AI English Education Teaching Aid System, which can support adaptive learning and personalized teaching through artificial intelligence. Together with the People’s Education Press (PEP), Tencent presented textbooks that can be recognized through AR technology through mobile QQ, Tencent’s other popular social platform.

Among the other guests discussing leveraging technology for good were leaders from IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, and Facebook which is currently figuring out how to smooth things over with the EU concerning its data breaches and the use of low-tax countries such as Ireland to reduce their corporate tax rate.