The United Nations is partnering with Tencent to use its video conferencing and remote work platforms for a digital “global dialogue” to commemorate its 75th anniversary on June 26.
Why it matters: The partnership is a boost to Tencent’s image and prominence around the world. It could aid Tencent’s global ambitions in enterprise software, while China’s tech giants are ramping up their efforts to grab a share of the B2B enterprise collaboration market at home and abroad.
- Alibaba’s and Tencent’s collaboration and productivity tools are widely used in China. They are challenged by new entries from Bytedance, Pinduoduo, Ant Financial, and potentially Baidu.
- Millions of additional users are up for grabs due to mandatory work-from-home arrangements around the world.
“Tencent’s technology and global outreach is particularly important to reach young people. As one of the world’s largest tech companies, Tencent’s support for the UN75 campaign sets an important example.”—Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary
Details: The UN for its 75th anniversary is inviting people around the world to take part in a conversation about what they want the world to look like in 25 years, and how crises like climate change and pandemics can be tackled, according to its website.
- Tencent has built a platform to host this discussion using Tencent’s Voov Meeting platform, WeChat Work, and Tencent Artificial Intelligence Simultaneous Interpretation, the Shenzhen-based company said on Tuesday.
- The partnership will help the UN reach millions of people.
- Tencent’s tools are not the only platforms that will be used. The UN could make available “alternative digital platforms” to its country teams and stakeholders.
- Contributions via social media using the hashtag #UN75, online and offline informal chats, and formal focus groups are other ways to participate in the dialogue.
- The UN also launched an online survey asking people for their take on how to solve the world’s critical challenges. The survey will be spread and advertised through Tencent’s social networking, gaming, media, video, and advertising platforms.
- The results of the “global dialogue” will be presented to the world’s leaders at the UN’s 75th General assembly in September.
“Global collaboration not only plays a vital role in human well-being and our future, but is also the key to fighting the current global pandemic.”—Martin Lau, Tencent president
Context: The UN usually marks the anniversary of its establishment on June 26, 1946 with a ceremony at its headquarters and other events around the world. For its 70th anniversary, important landmarks around the world were illuminated in blue, the organization’s official color.
- Tencent only launched its video-conferencing tool Voov in international markets last week. It faces competition not only from Alibaba and Bytedance, but US players like Zoom, Microsoft, and Google.
- Its biggest competition at home is Alibaba’s DingTalk, which is widely used among small and medium-sized enterprises. But the app has faced criticism by Chinese users through the Covid-19 pandemic.
- A year ago, TikTok owner Bytedance joined the market when it launched a productivity tool overseas and, earlier in March, e-commerce giant Pinduoduo released its own app. Baidu is rumored to be releasing its own enterprise collaboration tool in 2020.
Read more: To work smart, China should delete DingTalk