Tencent, the Chinese tech company and world's largest video game vendor, revealed its first self-designed chips at the company's Global Digital Ecosystem Summit, Bloomberg reported. It represents a shift into hardware and beyond online entertainment for the company.
The new silicon chips include an artificial intelligence chip, a video transcoding chip and a cloud networking chip. Tencent Senior Vice President Dowson Tong called chips the "key components of hardware" and the "core infrastructure of the industrial internet" at the event in Wuhan, according to Bloomberg. Tong also announced the allocation of $3 billion toward its cloud enterprise partners.
Tencent's major cash cows include messaging app WeChat and an arsenal of video games. It set up a chipmaking unit in a subsidiary cloud computing company in 2020. Beijing has ambitiously pushed for a "self-sufficient" tech industry within China, and Tencent is one of several Chinese companies trying to meet that goal. Baidu ventured into the semiconductor field in 2010 and released its first chip in 2018, while Alibaba unveiled its own server chip in October and has been investing in semiconductors since 2018. ByteDance also appears to be actively recruiting people with chip expertise.