Tencent’s WeChat to deploy AI tools in education in push into industrial internet

December 3, 2018
Industry News
Content Provided By:


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Iris Deng
iris.deng@scmp.com
  • Move is part of tech giant’s plans to tap on potential of industrial internet
Tencent Holdings is pushing ahead with efforts to sign up schools to use its all-in-one WeChat app as part of a broader shift by the company to go beyond consumers and serve more institutions.

Since WeChat started partnering with public schools and private training centres in 2014, students have been to make purchases at canteens, check test scores and communicate in group chats with their peers, parents and teachers using the app's multiple functions.

Tencent revamped its organisation structure on the eve of its 20th anniversary this year to align the company to compete for the industrial internet. In an open letter last month, chairman Pony Ma Huateng laid out the rationale for the restructuring, saying that digitisation of the economy meant the battle for the internet has moved on from consumers to industry.

“WeChat Pay has been a tool to connect people, and is now increasingly connecting industries under the company’s new direction to embrace the industrial internet.” Lei Maofeng, vice-general manager of WeChat Pay, said in an interview at the Fortune Global Tech Forum 2018 in Guangzhou.

“As a tool we do not pick certain industries to serve, but to approach them all and those industries with more advanced digital systems, such as retail, were among the first to integrate better with WeChat,” Lei said.

Education is among the industries that WeChat is tapping to deploy artificial intelligence tools, with voice and image recognition the most commonly used technology, Lei said.

WeChat, known as Weixin on the mainland, is the country’s dominant messaging app, while it also serves as an all-in-one platform for social networking, mobile payments, ride hailing, food delivery and more. The app has more than over 1 billion monthly active users. Continue Reading



 

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