Google has inked a pact with China’s multinational investment holding conglomerate Tencent Holdings in a deal that cross-licenses a number of patents.
TechCrunch reported Friday (Jan. 19th) that the deal covers “a broad range of products and technologies” in an agreement that is “long-term” in nature. Terms of the agreement, such as longevity, focus or financial impact, were not disclosed.
“We’re pleased to enter into a patent cross-license with Tencent,” said Mike Lee, head of patents at the search engine giant, in a statement. “By working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users,”
On the Tencent side, the work with Google would follow a number of investments made over the past several months, including funds for both Tesla and Spotify, among others. Tencent operates the Chinese multi-purpose social media mobile application software platform WeChat, among other offerings.
The agreement with Tencent comes on the heels of other news for Google in China. As reported in December 2017, the company started up a lab in Beijing devoted to artificial intelligence (AI). In addition, Google also announced it has invested in Chushou, a streaming service based in the country.
In addition, Chinese government officials said last month that if the search engine giant wants to operate within the country, it will have to adapt to and adopt China’s cybersecurity rules. The company continues to be blocked in China and so, too, is its access to more than 750 million Internet users.
“That’s a question maybe in many people’s minds: why Google, why Facebook are not yet working and operating in China,” a government official said at the time. “If they want to come back, we welcome [them]. The condition is that they have to abide by Chinese law and regulations. That is the bottom line. And also that they would not do any harm to Chinese national security and national consumers’ interests.”
China's government has been regulating access to the internet over the past year. Companies must store data locally, and tools commonly used to work around firewalls have been banned.