Tencent creates technology committee to boost in-company collaboration

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Tencent’s Dowson Tong. (Image credit: Colum Murphy)

Chinese internet giant Tencent established a new corporate technology committee on Wednesday, 100 days after announcing a restructuring plan to prioritize cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

The newly-formed council will boost the integration of research and development from different businesses within the company, enabling them to be implemented on its cloud computing platform and allowing for more effective collaboration, the company said in an announcement.

Tencent is renowned for its “horse racing” business culture—the competition between units that creates silos within the company and prevents the sharing of resources.

According to Tencent, two project teams have been established under the committee. One is for open source and collaborative coding from different groups inside the company, while the other is aimed at promoting the full integration of Tencent’s businesses on its cloud services.

Two executives are taking the lead for this purpose—Dowson Tong, senior executive vice president of the company and president of its Cloud and Smart Industries Group (CSIG), and Lu Shan, senior vice president of the company and president of the Technology and Engineering Group.

Technology leaders from all other business groups will be involved in the committee’s decision making processes, the company wrote.

The move comes as the Chinese social and gaming giant has increased its focus on enterprises to combat challenges to its consumer-facing businesses. It announced a company-wide reorganization in September 2018, establishing two new divisions including the CSIG. In an interview with Chinese media in November, Tong said the CSIG would encourage cooperation for the sake of their business clients, rather than “horse racing.”

Prior to the reorganization, Tencent CEO Pony Ma said that businesses and industry would be responsible for the development of the internet over the next two decades.

Tencent said it takes a “top-down approach” to boost efficiency and stop different groups from working on duplicate projects. Chinese media cited Lu as saying that an open approach would promote mutual understanding and trust across teams so that all in-house technologies could be leveraged by every employee.