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Tencent Touts New Semiconductor Advances

Chinese company is working on chips for artificial intelligence computing, video processing, and high-performance networks, a senior executive says


A Tencent logo is seen at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. Photo: Reuters

 

Tencent Holdings said on Wednesday it had made significant progress in semiconductor research and development (R&D) as the Chinese internet company hopes to shake off reliance on foreign chips.

Tang Daosheng, senior executive vice president and chief executive of Tencent’s cloud and smart industry group, said the company was working on a chip for artificial intelligence computing called Zixiao, plus another for video processing, known as Canghai, and a third chip for high-performance networks named Xuanling.

“Facing scenarios with strong business needs, Tencent has had a long-term plan and investment for chip R&D,” Tang said, according to a social media post by the company’s Tencent Cloud unit.

Thomas Chong, a Jefferies analyst, said Tencent is embracing long-term trends towards digitalisation. “Tencent highlights its processing, cloud native capabilities and the latency time of its offerings supported by infrastructure such as chips, servers and  operating systems,” he said.

The company also announced detail relating to its Orca cloud operating system. Tang spoke at the company’s annual Tencent Digital Ecosystem Summit in the central city of Wuhan.

The developments come as Chinese companies have been forced to boost their domestic R&D spending in the wake of threats and sanctions from Washington and a global chip shortage.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, a Tencent competitor, unveiled a new server chip for data centres last month, while smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp also launched a chip for image processing in phone cameras this year.

 

• George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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