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Guillaume RIO
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WeChat by Tencent

If Tencent was the first Asian company valued at more than 500 billion dollars, it is because this group, like the other BATJ (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, embodies over the years a real service hub where Artificial Intelligence (AI) pilots Internet portals, retail applications, financial services, music, video, E-sport, e-commerce within a ubiquitous messaging system called “WeChat”!


Today this instant messaging application accounts for more than 1 billion active users per month. According to WeChat, 800 million users have linked to the payment service of the application either their bank account (Tencent WeBank’s online bank accounts for a large part) or their credit card.




In November 2017, Tencent launched its own online insurance portal called WeSure. It is interesting to know that the automated step count function available in WeChat can be linked to WeSure. For example, users who walk more than 8,000 steps in a day are credited with a hongbao (traditional Chinese money donation) from WeSure on WeChat. Liu Jiaming, Executive Director and CEO of WeSure says: “70% of customer service is provided by artificial intelligence that contributes to the effectiveness of compensation.” According to Liu Jiaming, “Up to 80% of WeSure users can be compensated in one day”.

The Chinese giant aims to go further by offering services related to areas such as health and education! Thus, its health entity WeDoctor counts on its platform more than 2,700 hospitals, 220,000 doctors, 15,000 pharmacies for 27 million active users per month. Patients report their personal data and medical history, either automatically or not, so that the AI, armed with this information, can issue a pre-diagnosis, which according to the severity is transferred to a doctor to validate for example the delivery of medication to the patient’s home.




Education is also part of the target sectors. WeChat wants to develop a personalized education for each student using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Tencent is working with the Chinese Ministry of Education, for example, and is continuing its efforts to encourage schools to use its global application.

With 580,000 applications integrated into WeChat, Lei Maofeng, Vice President of WeChat Pay, can be easily understood when he announces that “WeChat has been a tool to connect people to the Internet. “

Le décodage

If the building of this empire of services (cf Tencent ecosystem) could not be done without the goodwill of the Chinese Communist Party, it is also at the origin of a national program around the AI.


Tencent ecosystem


This program is based on the involvement imposed by the central government. The 18 autonomous provinces are competing with each other to submit their local plan for the development of AI.


Ai en chine


Unsurprisingly, the most advanced provinces are also the richest, led by Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, backed by technology giants such as Baidu Alibaba, and Tencent, who incubate AI programs over the years.

For example, Shanghai has spent more than € 13 billion on the creation of several areas devoted to the AI ​​where startups like iFlyTek and Horizon Robotics have quickly become the flagships of their sector.

Beijing is not left with a park dedicated to the AI ​​located west of the city, home to more than 400 companies working on the subject.

And this policy is bearing fruit! Proof of this is that, in 2017, of the $ 15.2 billion invested globally and internationally in AI startups, 48% went to China and only 38% to the United States. (Cbinsights).

Authentication, simplification, security … all the ingredients are gathered to place the consumer / the citizen in the middle of a galaxy of services managed by AI ​​whose guarantors are Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Tencent pending the awakening of a European giant?

Xiaolong Zhang, the founder of WeChat, sums up the situation and the fact that the future is about ecosystems when he explains: “We are building a forest, not a palace. things to grow within it. “

Guillaume RIO
Specialist of BATX & GAFA ecosystems and passionate about China, Guillaume analyzes the impact of new technologies on our lives.
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