At GITEX 2023, Tencent Cloud emphasizes its commitment to the MEA market

The Chinese cloud giant is eyeing an expansion in the MEA market, starting with collaborations in the public sector.
23 October 2023

Tencent Cloud unveiled a SuperApp-as-a-Service at GITEX 2023, tailored solely for MEA enterprises and public sector services. Source: Shutterstock

  • Tencent Cloud unveiled a SuperApp-as-a-Service at GITEX 2023, tailored solely for MEA enterprises and public sector services.

With its dream of building a knowledge and technology-based economy, the MENA region has been appearing as a great opportunity for Asian tech powerhouses, especially those from China. Chinese internet titans, Tencent, Baidu, and Xiaomi have all been expanding to the Middle East, albeit at different speeds. China is actively forging a “digital Silk Road” in the region.

Tencent, amid expansion into the ASEAN region, has turned its attention to the Middle East. The region’s swift progress in smart cities and technology industries has piqued the interest of this Chinese tech giant, prompting it to introduce its mini-app framework. This framework holds the potential to enhance the value offered by governments, companies, and industries to millions of customers in the Middle East.

That was the underlying message from Dan Hu, Vice President, Middle East and Africa (MEA) Region of Tencent Cloud International, speaking during the 12th edition of the Annual Investment Meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in May this year. Not long after, the company signed a partnership with Abu Dhabi TAMM on October 17, 2023.

The aim of the collaboration with the Department of Government Enablement of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to the company, was to transform the region’s public services into mini-programs and aggregate them on TAMM using Tencent Cloud Mini Program Platform (TCMPP) capabilities. Essentially, it was to be a SuperApp-as-a-Service for Abu Dhabi’s TAMM.

“This lifestyle transformation has turned TAMM into a SuperApp, consolidating over 700 essential public services from more than 30 government entities and the private sector on a single, standardized mini program,” a company spokesperson told Tech Wire Asia at the recently-concluded Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) in Dubai. 

The aim, according to the spokesperson, is to “provide services including citizenship and work permit applications, business registration, industrial license applications, housing and property leasing, healthcare facility access, tourism information, inheritance services, insurance matters, traffic ticket management, education and work benefits.”

Tencent Cloud also presented the SuperApp-as-a-Service at GITEX 2023, along with its latest innovations, under the Tencent Cloud AI and media solution family. The SuperApp-as-a-Service, according to Tencent, is tailored solely for MEA enterprises and public service transformation.

“Leveraging the track records in supporting the Weixin/WeChat ecosystem with over 1.1 billion monthly active Mini Program users, Tencent Cloud’s SuperApp-as-a-Service features the Tencent Cloud Mini Program Platform (TCMPP) that transforms web and mobile apps into one lightweight mini program for aggregation, open to any cloud infrastructure with container-based deployment,” Hu shared during a fireside chat at GITEX 2023.

Dan Hu, Vice President of Tencent Cloud during a fireside chat at GITEX 2023.

Dan Hu, Vice President of Tencent Cloud during a fireside chat at GITEX 2023.

Hu said Tencent Cloud is well-positioned to work with local partners in the MEA region to support the local public service transformation, enabling enterprises and international businesses to leverage the company’s technologies and access the Chinese market. 

“This is backed by our ecosystem-building experience in the consumer internet space, as well as our AI capabilities [we’ve] accumulated, including hosting apps and offering internet infrastructure for a billion users,” he said.

Other tech solutions by Tencent Cloud showcased at GITEX 2023

Tencent Cloud’s latest solution, the Quick-training Digital Human, was among the few products showcased at GITEX 2023. According to the company, the Quick-training Digital Human lets enterprise users create customized digital avatars with minimal training, meeting the increasing demand for digital avatars in various fields, including customer service, sales and marketing, and virtual tour guides.

“The Tencent Cloud e-know Your Customer (eKYC) solution utilizes AI technologies to optimize identity authentication processes with document recognition, liveness detection, and face verification capabilities,” Tencent said in a statement. 

In addition to the several other products under its AI media solution portfolio unveiled at GITEX 2023, the company showcased its Tencent Cloud Smart Video Analysis Platform (SVAP), Intelligent Media AI Platform, showing capabilities to help media organizations, enterprises, and content creators in areas such as video content creation and moderation, and smart video analysis.

“All of this is to cater to the booming digital content, media, gaming, and entertainment demand in the MEA region,” a Tencent Cloud spokesperson told Tech Wire Asia.

Source: Tencent Cloud's X

Source: X

5G plans in the MEA region

Tencent Cloud’s international business presently covers Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and other major markets. According to Tencent, the Middle East is one of the fastest-growing regions economically, with many regional customers showing strong interest in exploring potential SuperApp projects.

“Today, Tencent Cloud is investing in local partner ecosystems, particularly in audio and video live streaming, intending to become a preferred technology service provider in the region. We plan to expand their resources in the audio and video domain and deploy AI products in the short term while strengthening their global partner network by recruiting influential local partners in the Middle East,” Hu said at GITEX 2023.

Hu also hinted at future 5G plans for the Middle Eastern market, as gaming services are expected to benefit significantly from the fifth-generation mobile network. He commented that AI will drive forward next-generation gaming systems as Tencent Cloud embeds its solutions to the Middle Eastern market for enterprise adoption, including the Tencent Cloud SuperApp-as-a-Service for digital transformation.