Tencent CEO Emphasises Shanghai Esports at the World Conference on Artificial Intelligence

The 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in the Chinese town of Shanghai was formally opened on August 29.

Over 100 business representatives visited this event, including Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk; Alibaba Group’s founder Jack Ma; and Tencent’s CEO and chairperson Pony Ma (no relationship). Throughout this meeting, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was extensively discussed by these three business leaders, but Pony Ma also touched briefly on sports and their position in Shanghai: “We[ Tencent] will fully support Shanghai in becoming the worldwide sports town. Tencent’s six series of sports tournaments[ Legends League, Kings Honor, Peacekeeper Elite, CrossFire, FIFA 4 Online, and QQ Speed] took place in Shanghai.

More than 50 Tencent associated sports organisations have also established offices in the town. “Moreover, Pony Ma added that Tencent had partnered with state-owned organizer and promoter Juss Sports and certified the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center as a recommended stadium for sports.

While Tencent has not provided information beyond expressing support for Shanghai’s city sports plans, its public display of assistance during a significant global meeting is seen as an significant measure of the engagement of the company.

In June this year, the Shanghai government proved the idea of “constructing a worldwide esports town.” According to the strategy, in three to five years, Shanghai intends to accomplish this goal by concentrating on four fields:* Creation of Esports content and growth of technology.

  • Infrastructure for sports, including tournament, media and locations.
  • Esports professional education.
  • Esports sustainable ecosystem development.

Tencent has not only given Shanghai assistance, but also rival NetEase, a Chinese game publisher.¬†NetEase announced on August 3 that it plans to invest over √•5B RMB ($710 M USD) to construct the Shanghai Qingpu District’s “NetEase Esports Park.” Multiple projects linked to product design, locations, team development, talent building, and user experience will be created.