Tencent pledges $70 billion investment in high-tech areas as Beijing pushes digital infrastructure

Tencent

  • Chinese technology giant Tencent will invest 500 billion yuan ($69.9 billion) over the next five years in areas from cloud computing to artificial intelligence.
  • China has been pushing the development of “new infrastructure” which includes the development of technology like 5G. Tencent’s investment will bolster that effort.
  • Tencent’s investment plans would bolster competition with China’s other technology giants from Alibaba to Baidu in emerging technology areas.

Chinese technology giant Tencent will invest 500 billion yuan ($69.9 billion) over the next five years in areas from cloud computing to artificial intelligence, a move boosted by Beijing’s calls to push digital infrastructure.

The announcement comes after the company, known for operating popular messaging service WeChat, said on Monday it would issue up to $20 billion of new bonds to professional investors to raise capital. Already, $12 billion of bonds under this program are outstanding.

Tencent’s investment plans would bolster competition with China’s other technology giants, such as Alibaba to Baidu, in emerging technology areas.

It would also support China’s push for so-called “new infrastructure” — a term used by Beijing to encompass areas of technology such as artificial intelligence, next-generation mobile networks known as 5G and infrastructure around transportation such as electric cars.

On Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced plans to issue more debt to support “new infrastructure” projects.

Tencent said it will focus on building huge data centers containing more than one million servers each. It will also build new industrial parks and innovation centers.

The firm also said it will work with scientific research experts and laboratories, and invest in major technological research.

China’s technology giants have been sharpening their focus on “new infrastructure” this year.

E-commerce giant JD.com created a new Cloud and AI business unit this year to focus on the two areas of technology.

Meanwhile, Alibaba said in April that it would invest 200 billion yuan over three years in its cloud computing division. Alibaba is China’s largest cloud player.

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