Tencent Holdings Ltd has announced that it will fully open up its big data platform and machine learning technology in a move to build a "sharing economy" based on cloud services.
Enterprises will be able to use a set of big data analysis tools developed by Tencent, helping them gain a better understanding of their clients and improve their products.
The Shenzhen-based internet giant, which owns instant messaging tools QQ and WeChat, has years of experiences storing and analyzing huge amounts of data.
The opening of its core technologies is part of Tencent's efforts to develop cloud services, an area which many other big companies including Alibaba and Baidu are also tapping into.
"Development of a sharing economy is closely related to cloud services" said Ma Huateng, chairman of Tencent. "Like transportation, accommodation and many other areas, cloud services are also a kind of sharing economy."
He said cloud computing has become one of the key areas Tencent focuses on and the company is dedicated to opening its IT resources and technological capabilities to outsiders.
"In the past, enterprises were only users of internet technology. Now, as they engage themselves in the cloud, they are becoming a part of the internet ecosystem," Ma said at the 2016 Tencent Cloud Summit held in Shenzhen this week.
Cloud technology has achieved greater importance in recent years as more and more Chinese enterprises integrate themselves deeper with the internet. However, it remains difficult for companies, especially smaller ones, to build their own data center because it involves large capital investment and a waste of resources, said Dowson Tong, senior executive vice-president of Tencent.
Cloud services help enterprises get access to more resources while reducing their operating costs, Tong said.
According to the 2016 Internet Trends report, services provided by Tencent are the most commonly used by Chinese internet users. More than 50 percent of their time on the internet is spent on Tencent services.
"We are not offering cloud services as a separate business. Instead, it is a part of Tencent's entire strategy. Enterprises will be able to get access to all Tencent platforms by using its cloud services," Ma said.
Joe Weinman, a leading cloud computing strategist, said Tencent has a good background in offering cloud services. The company owns a huge amount of consumer data and knows what consumers need. This will enable it to do better in user experience and improve availability of its products, he said.