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February 10, 2016
Tencent - The tech giant riding on the wave of sports

Tencent Sport Senior Development manager Wenjuan He (Photo: Carlo Pozzoni)
by Fari Macham, AIPS Young Reporter, Zimbabwe

DOHA, February 9, 2016 - Like two estranged fraternal siblings, Qatar and China have more in common than they may care to admit.

Both boast of the world's fastest growing economies, are undergoing massive infrastructure development and have now realised the power of sport in building nations, changing perceptions and igniting an economy.

It's a ship Tencent Sport, a new key partner of AIPS, wants to catch before it sails.

Tencent Holdings has already gained a reputation of being the leader in internet provision in China, but now is stepping outside its home borders, aiming to lead the way in sport.

The tech giant was one of the key speakers at AIPS Congress here in Doha where, just like China, sport is at the eve of a new takeoff.

“Sports is growing in leaps and bounds and they say if you miss China you might miss the world," said Tencent Sport Senior Development manager Wenjuan He, before sharing the company's experience in the sports industry and hopes to boost it through a connectivity strategy.

"This is an opportunity for us to expand our influence. China has been morphing into a sports country, and more people have found the need to show off their sports moment on social media, where our platforms have been doing well.

"China recently hosted the Olympics in 2008, and is set to host the FIBA basketball tournament in 2019, the 2022 Winter Olympics, the F1 Grand Prix and more - a sign that the sports industry is growing in China’s sports.

"But currently China has 0,6 percent market share of sports on the GDP as of 2012, so the industry has plenty of space to grow and we hope to fill this void by connecting everything on our strong platforms.

Tencent was recently ranked 11th on the 2015 top 100 most valuable Goal Brands with apple technology topping that list.

"We are actually number one in China in terms of offering various platforms," He says.

"It's safe to say that each person using the internet is using one or more Tencen services knowingly or unknowingly."

The tech giant recently teamed up with DISNEY to cover sports games in China -- with Mandarin-language commentary.

They are currently the exclusive digital partner with NBA, broadcasting more than 1500 live broadcasts per season.

With Qatar set to host the 2022 World Cup, Tencent hopes they will give a front seat row to their consumers.

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