Tencent and the UK’s Department for International Trade signed a memorandum of understanding which will see the parties explore “how we could empower people through internet technology and other innovations like artificial intelligence [AI]”.

The partnership will see the China-based internet giant work with British companies around gaming, film and television.

Together with the British Tourist Authority, local IP content corporations and fashion institutions, Tencent will introduce a UK version of QQ Speed, a 3D mobile racing game launched in 2017 which counts 100 million registered users and more than 20 million daily active users.

The UK version will feature unique cultural elements, including new game characters, background music and character costumes.

Tencent’s Youtu Lab imaging and machine learning facility and social networking site Qzone will team up with UK fashion designers in a pilot project to integrate AI technology and big data analysis into their work.

The collaboration around “cultural creative industries” was announced in a ceremony in London attended by Liam Fox, secretary of state for International Trade (pictured, left) and Seng Yee Lau, senior EVP of Tencent (pictured, right)

Tencent’s said: “The culture and technology industries in the United Kingdom are well recognised around the world and we believe that there will be a lot of collaboration opportunities in the future. Imagine a time, not long from now, when the empowering nature of digitisation is available to everyone in the world. What we are doing today is a first step towards making that image a reality.”

Health and AI
The deal will also involve the extension of an existing partnership between Tencent’s AI Lab and Nature Research, a division of academic publisher Springer Nature. The expanded agreement covers development and implementation of more healthcare products and applications through scholarships and research.

Both parties have introduced an award to encourage young people around the world to conduct research to address key challenges faced by humanity. In 2018, this award will focus on breakthroughs in the AI and healthcare sector.

In addition to monetary incentives, winners will  be given the opportunity to speak at the Tencent WE Summit.

Tencent is already working in the health and AI space with British companies. Last month it signed a deal with digital health start-up Babylon Health to offer WeChat users access to technology which uses AI to deliver personal health assessments.