Xi Jinping's visit to Tencent in Shenzhen on Dec. 7. (Internet photo)
Xi Jinping, who became general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party barely one month ago, visited leading internet company Tencent at its headquarters in Shenzhen during his southern tour last week, showing the government's emphasis on encouraging creative and innovative service providers as he begins his ten years as he country's top leader, reports Duowei News, a news site operated by overseas Chinese.
Xi's tour to the south of the country, following an almost identical route to the one taken by late leader Deng Xiaoping 20 years ago, suggests China will continue in the spirit of the economic reforms launched by Deng from the late 1970s — precisely the message that Deng's 1992 tour underscored. In his first stop at Shenzhen on Dec. 7, Xi visited Tencent, China's leading internet company by value and user numbers, which operates the popular instant messaging service QQ.
Xi gave a speech at Tencent's headquarters with the the company's logo featured prominently in the background. As the speech was featured on state broadcaster CCTV, this made his visit a priceless ad for the Shenzhen-based company. The visit lasted for 40 minutes and Xi was introduced to Tencent's new video interaction product, Q robot.
Analysts said Xi's appearance at Tencent is related to the goals announced at the party's 18th National Congress last month, emphasizing that China can no longer rely on the old model of investment and exports and must develop new and innovative industries to stimulate domestic demand and solve employment issues.
Pushing for a full transformation of the country's industrial structure, the party named four policies for the next decade: new industrialization, informationalization, urbanization and agricultural modernization.
Tencent is an example of a major player in a new industry to which the government will provide provide strong support, as it is one of China's biggest internet service providers, with annual turnover of 28.5 billion yuan (US$4.56 billion) in 2011 and employing more than 20,000 people.
Xi's predecessor as general secretary, Hu Jintao, visited Tencent in September 2010.
Xi Jinping 習近平
Deng Xiaoping 鄧小平
Hu Jintao 胡錦濤