Briefing: Tencent doubles down on customized cloud computing services

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Tencent plays catch-up in cloud computing services as video gaming business slows – SCMP

What happened: Chinese tech tycoon Tencent announced it would increase investment in its cloud computing business at a press conference held Thursday. Retail, financial services, transport, healthcare, and education are among the primary industries to which Tencent will provide its customized cloud computing service. Tencent expects the cloud computing operations to be a new revenue source for the company, as well as a point to connect the consumer and industrial internet, according to its founder Pony Ma.

Why it’s important: The rivalry between Tencent and its long-term competitor Alibaba in the cloud computing industry is heating up as both companies are seeking new growth narratives in enterprise-facing businesses. Tencent launched an organizational overhaul in late September 2018 to send a strong signal that it was taking enterprise seriously, and cloud is the most important part of this shift. Tencent’s announcement comes while Alibaba Cloud celebrated its 10-year anniversary in Beijing on Thursday. At the event, president of Alibaba Cloud Zhang Jianfeng claimed the “All-in-Cloud” era is coming.