Talk:Operation Chinese Winter
Tencent: A Corporate Behemoth
Many of you will know of Tencent, the Chinese megacorporation that is involving itself in gaming to an alarming extent. The purpose of this post is to simply raise awareness of how many companies are either owned/operated, invested into or are simply in some form of partnership with the Chinese conglomerate. This list is intended to help those who want to be informed about Tencent and to help those who wish to avoid Tencent as much as they can in future.
Tencent QQ (Instant messaging) WeChat (Popular social media application) Pengyuo (Another popular social media app) Qzone (ANOTHER social media app) Tencent Maps (Mapping service) Tencent Video (Video streaming site) Tencent Weibo (Microblogging site) Foxmail (email) Sogou Search (Search engine) QQ Player (Media player) Juwai .com (Real estate website) Tencent Credit (Credit score site) Tencent Traveller (web browser)
Gaming Tencent Games, a subsidiary which operates: WeGame (gaming platform) Tencent Gaming Platform (TGP) Box (game console) TiMi Mobile (Subsidiary) - Developers of CoD: Mobile Investments in: Grinding Gear Games (80% ownership) Ubisoft (5% ownership) Riot Games (100% ownership) Glu Mobile (14.46% ownership) Epic Games (40-48% ownership) Bluehole (11.5% ownership) Activision-Blizzard (5% ownership) Paradox Interactive (5% ownership) Supercell (5% ownership) Frontier Developments (9% ownership) Kakao (13.5% ownership) Fatshark (36% ownership) Funcom (29% ownership) Sharkmob (100% ownership) Discord ($158M in funding)
iTQQ Television Tencent Pictures (Film division) Tencent Video Tencent Comic Tapas Media (U.S. partner of Tencent Comic) Tencent Music Entertainment: Manages QQ Music, Kuguo and Kuwo apps Partnered with Sony Music, Spotify, Warner and Universal Music. Education VIPKID (Online teaching platform) E-Commerce PaiPai .com (auction site) Tencent Pay (online payments) JD .com (e-commerce site) - 15% Zhuanzhuan .com (partially owned) Additional WeSure Internet Insurance (partnered with Ping An Insurance) Skydance Media (5-10%) Snap Inc (Snapchat) - (10%) The Lego Group (partnered) Wanda Group (42.48%) - Owns AMC Theatres Carrefour S.A. (French multinational, partner) Luckin Coffee (partner) L'Oreal (partner for digital marketing) SenSat (British AI and drone startup, recieved $10M in funding) Rapoo (Chinese UAV manufacturer) Reddit ($150M investment)
This list is by no means a complete list of ALL of Tencents investments, partners and subsidiaries, but regardless is meant to inform you as to just how large a commercial enterprise Tencent is.
Thank you for reading.
While the previous post was a list detailing many of Tencents' international investments, subsidiaries and partners, a simple question needs to be asked, and subsequently answered in this post:
What's The Problem With Tencent?
A corporation as large and prolific as Tencent is hardly new in todays world of similar megacorporations like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart or Apple, but Tencent, like many of the largest corporations in China, have a very close relationship with the government of the PRC.
State Surveillance and Censorship
One of the most popular social media apps in China and throughout Asia, Tencents' own WeChat app has over a billion estimated users, and is of course, subject to the intense censorship that the PRC government demands. With the help of AI to screen any politically insensitive posts, comments, messages, images or statements, WeChat acts as another way of controlling speech in the PRC. Together with the real name and government ID requirements to simply buy a phone in China, the consequences for speech and expression not approved by the government are severe.
A notable example of how WeChat was been weaponised against a population was when WeChat was brought to the XInjiang region, home to the Uyghur people in 2011. Soon after its introduction, many Uyghurs welcomed the app, expressing a wide range of views and opinions, as anyone would do with any social media. Expression of Uyghur nationalism or Islamic beliefs (normal for a majority-Muslim region) on WeChat was cracked down upon by police. An unknown number of arrests and detentions followed for many within Xinjiang alone. There is evidence of WeChat intentionally filtering out words, images and any and all content that is deemed as inappropriate by the authorities. While Tencents' CEO has said that the company does not share user information with the government, the mandatory installation of Jingwang Weishi to Uyghur phones, in addition to many other incidents and allegations of censorship of content posted on WeChat outside of the People's Republic casts a large amount of doubt over such claims.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WeChat https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/03/28/commentary/world-commentary/worried-huawei-take-closer-look-tencent/ https://www.wired.com/story/inside-chinas-massive-surveillance-operation/ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-china-blog-48552907 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingwang_Weishi
Building the Social Credit System
The Social Credit System, Black Mirrors' "Nosedive" made real. Mandated by the PRC government, notably the People's Bank, Tencent joins companies such as Alibaba and Didi Chuxing in "trialling" a social credit system to aggregate an individuals personal, financial and political behaviour into a single score, which would significantly affect their lifestyle. If a "score" falls too low over things like: Personal debt How many hours one spends gaming per day, week etc. Infractions and Crimes, from theft to jaywalking Dating app rating (via dating sites such as Didi Chuxing & Baihe) Reporting on displays of religious belief - such as the activities of Muslims or Falun Gong, will result in a reward for those who do so via the system. Individuals may be placed onto a "blacklist" by authorities and will be subject to: Travel bans over rail and air travel Public displays of their status to the public, in places like movie theatres. The ability to buy/rent housing will be impacted by a lower social credit score. Ability to apply successfully for loans or finding employment will also be impacted the lower ones' score is. An individuals choice in what school to send their children to will also be subject to the limitations of their social credit score. Priority during the processing of paperwork relating to them in a government office i.e. passport application.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System https://www.wired.co.uk/article/china-social-credit-system-explained https://www.newstatesman.com/world/asia/2018/04/no-china-isn-t-black-mirror-social-credit-scores-are-more-complex-and-sinister
Tencent is a company, whose products and services find themselves being put to use by the PRC to supress content, statements and online activities that would be considered inappropriate by the state.
This is the company with a 40% stake in Epic Games, the Unreal Engine and the EGS. This is a company that Tim Sweeney regards as one of his "closest partners" and has defended them from being "attacked" in the past. This is a company that in every sense, is helping to strengthen totalitarianism in China, and via its involvement in gaming, spread the PRCs censorship to most of the world, affecting films, TV, gaming, music and many other forms of entertainment. To imply or claim that Sweeney is unaware of what his largest shareholder is involved in would be insulting to his and anyone elses intelligence. Tim Sweeney claims that he would stand for free speech and expression against the PRC and Tencent, while Bobby Kotick - a CEO with comparable net worth to Tim at $7 Billion - capitulated to the PRCs demands with just 5% of his company owned by Tencent. What will he do when he is put into a similar position by the company that owns 40% of his when push comes to shove?