Google and Chinese internet giant Tencent signed a patent cross-licensing agreement in which both companies will collaborate on a wide variety of future technology projects. The deal, which is estimated to be worth $500 million, includes a vast selection of products and technologies that Google and Tencent intend to jointly build for their respective customers. The companies did not reveal the overall terms and conditions of the deal, and it remains unclear what specific solutions and services they plan to develop as part of their collaboration.
While China currently blocks Google's core services such as Search and Gmail, the company's agreement with Tencent opens a whole new world of opportunities in other tech segments where its objectives meet those of Tencent. Furthermore, Google has been recently dabbling in other tech categories with which it can operate in the Far Eastern country. Artificial intelligence is one such segment, with Google having recently announced its plan to expand its AI research to China by launching an R&D center in the country with the goal of tapping the local talent. The search giant formally announced the new AI research hub at the Google Developer Days event in Shanghai, with Google Cloud’s Chief Scientist for AI and machine learning, Fei-Fei Li, noting that the research center is the first such facility in Asia.
Google is looking to other tech segments in China as part of its efforts to grow its footprint in the country and compensate for the absence of Search and its other core services there. Another sector that Google is currently pursuing is wearable tech. In December last year, Google’s Chinese unit based in the Shanghai World Financial Center was reportedly working on wearables and a number of other devices, yet it's still unclear whether its solutions are meant to be commercialized in the Far Eastern country or only abroad. Currently, Google's Android Wear platform for wearables is one of the more popular choices among smartwatch manufacturers, but Google has yet to commercialize its own offering in this product category. It was also recently reported that Google invested $76.8 million in Chushou TV, a Chinese mobile video streaming platform focused on gaming.