Tencent: China’s Billion-User Platform and Its Role in the Sanxingdui Ruins

By on March 1st, 2023 in Corporate, news

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[Source: Amazon

Charles R. Goulding looks at a huge Chinese company, Tencent.

Influence Empire written by Bloomberg Asia correspondent Lulu Chen is the story of Tencent, China’s powerhouse tech giant that many people are not familiar with. More people have heard of its leading competitor, Alibaba, in part because of Jack Ma, the publicity-seeking CEO.  

Tencent’s CEO is Pony Ma, China’s wealthiest man who is not related to Jack Ma, and perhaps astutely has kept himself out of the limelight. The Chinese government has recently announced a Golden Shares Program where they will maintain investment in both Tencent and Alibaba so they can monitor both companies. 

Venom Movie [Source: Movies Anywhere

The scope of Tencent’s underlying businesses is breathtaking and includes WeChat, the billion-user platform, a giant gaming business and leading movie franchises including Wonder Woman, Men in Black: International and Venom. WeChat is the portal for news, social media, ridesharing, hotel reservations, e-commerce, dining, utility payments and investments. To understand the large reach of WeChat it essentially merges the functions of WhatsApp, Deliveroo, Uber, Paypal, TikTok, Amazon, Yahoo! News and Spotify all into one.  

We have previously written about how Volkswagen is utilizing 3D printing to combat supply chain disruptions caused by China lockdowns on Fabbaloo, as well as the The China Challenge, and how 3D printing fits into all these aspects.

Film “Wonder Woman 1984” [Source: Forbes

Having a large gaming business in China is extremely valuable since gaming sales are expected to reach US$51B in sales in 2023 and US$68B in sales by 2027. Increased stay-at-home needs and shelter from China’s multi-year zero Covid policy and now the large Covid outbreaks have undoubtedly contributed to this growth.

Tencent has become a major supporter of the archeological Sanxingdui site in Sichuan province which emanated from the Shu kingdom 4,500 years ago. 

Newly found artifacts at Sanxingdui ruins [Source: NBC News]

The Sanxingdui Museum has 11,000 meters of exhibition hall. This archeological finding provides excellent material for presenting unique and authentic video gaming settings and props

The Research & Development Tax Credit

The now permanent Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is available for companies developing new or improved products, processes and/or software. 

3D printing can help boost a company’s R&D Tax Credits. Wages for technical employees creating, testing and revising 3D printed prototypes can be included as a percentage of eligible time spent for the R&D Tax Credit. Similarly, when used as a method of improving a process, time spent integrating 3D printing hardware and software counts as an eligible activity. Lastly, when used for modeling and preproduction, the costs of filaments consumed during the development process may also be recovered.

Whether it is used for creating and testing prototypes or for final production, 3D printing is a great indicator that R&D Credit eligible activities are taking place. Companies implementing this technology at any point should consider taking advantage of R&D Tax Credits.


3D printing product providers trying to understand the Chinese market need to be familiar with Tencent. Lulu Chen has written an important book providing previously unknown insight to this technology giant.  

By Charles Goulding

Charles Goulding is the Founder and President of R&D Tax Savers, a New York-based firm dedicated to providing clients with quality R&D tax credits available to them. 3D printing carries business implications for companies working in the industry, for which R&D tax credits may be applicable.

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