Video games headline Tencent strategic partnership with UK's Department for International Trade

Date Type Companies involved Size
May 9th, 2018 Tencent Not disclosed
Video games headline Tencent strategic partnership with UK's Department for International Trade

Chinese tech and entertainment giant Tencent has signed a strategic partnership with the UK's Department for International Trade.

The collaboration focuses on the country's creative industries, with games being one of its key pillars, alongside film, fashion and television.

Tencent is teaming up with University of Oxford to create esports tournaments. Furthermore, the Chinese behemoth is bringing one of its mobile games - QQ Speed Mobile Game - to the UK complete with full localisation.

Despite video games getting a top billing in the announcement - and indeed, Tencent being such a powerful force in games - the medium was barely mentioned at today's event announcing this collaboration.

Though there was much talk of the intersection between culture and technology, a large portion of time was spent discussing advertising. While we're not adverse to long presentations about John Lewis' Monty the Penguin advert from the agency that created it, we can't help but feel that video games might have been a better example of this intersection.

This might be to do with the audience present at the event - a lot of political, mainstream and finance media plus industry analysts - but it could also suggest that video games, ultimately, aren't that big a part of Tencent's overall business. This is far from true, with games forming roughly half the Chinese giant's total revenue in 2016 and 2017. 

“We are delighted to enter into collaboration with Tencent, drawing on each other’s strengths to accelerate the growth of the global digital creative industries, in which the UK is a world leader," said Secretary of State of International Trade, Rt Hon Liam Fox MP.

"As an international economic department, we are determined to help UK companies to forge new global trading ties that will boost trade, drive growth and provide jobs to every part of the country.”

Tencent EVP Seng Yee Lau added: “Openness, partnership and sharing at a global level have become our common vision for the future of human development in this digital era, within this context, the Memorandum of Cooperation to be signed between Tencent and the UK Department for International Trade is of great significance.

"As a culture and technology corporation with strong foundation in the Internet world, Tencent has always been actively exploring how we could empower people through Internet technology and other innovations like artificial intelligence (AI). The culture and technology industries in the United Kingdom are well recognized around the world, and we believe that there will be a lot of collaboration opportunities in the future. Imagine a time, not long from now, when the empowering nature of digitization is available to everyone in the world. What we are doing today is a first step towards making that image a reality.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.