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Tencent Eyes Healthcare, Connected-Car Industry

Chinese internet group Tencent Holdings wants to expand into industries such as healthcare and connected cars as it faces tougher regulations in its home country.

In September, China’s largest social media and gaming company announced a major restructuring for the first time in six years. The move came after the Chinese government took steps to tighten control over its internet sector, from mobile gaming to mobile payments, even as some of the biggest firms compete more fiercely with one another for eyeballs, wallet share and, of course, game play.

As a result, Tencent executives decided to consolidate three content business groups to one unit and implement a new group for cloud and smart industries. In addition, the company will “further explore the integration of social, content and technology that is more suitable for future trends and promote the upgrade from consumer internet to industrial internet.” It will also create a technology committee to help bolster its research and development, as well as foster collaboration and innovation.

“If the development of internet is said to have centered on consumers over the past 20 years, it will probably focus on business and industry over the next 20 years,” Dowson Tong, president of Tencent’s newly formed Cloud and Smart Industries Group, said at a livecast event in Nanjing, according to Reuters.

Tong added that the company would continue to improve its consumer internet services, while also developing new industry-facing services in sectors such as healthcare, transportation, education and retail.

Tencent Vice President Zhong Xiangping also revealed the company’s autonomous driving business was a software and services provider, as well as a unit that offers cloud services to business partners in connected cars. Tencent has already received road testing licenses in Shenzhen and Beijing.

Lin Songtao, vice president in charge of Tencent’s content platforms, said the company set aside a 5 billion yuan ($720.13 million) fund to boost creative content for Tencent’s platforms, including WeChat, music apps and Yoo, a new short-form video app that will focus on content between one to three minutes.

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