The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

Press release: Strategic Cooperation Partnership between CIPSH and Tencent

 On 29th July, The International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH), a global academic institution in partnership with UNESCO, and Tencent signed a memorandum of strategic cooperation online, aimed at promoting the integration of technology with human sciences and helping the global digital cultural industry and academic research.

Under the agreement, CIPSH will set up a research group led by internationally renowned scholars in the fields of digital humanities and culture, and initiate research on "Neo-Culture Creativity" under that framework. Tencent's digital culture engagement will be the initial focus of the research exploring China’s experience on digital cultural production. This will be combined with other cases around the world to study how Tencent’s experience could contribute to improving global digital culture.

CIPSH and Tencent will work together to encourage much wider connections between cultural elements and create mutual empowerment of cultural value for the benefit os societies. Digital cultural forms such as games, animation, online literature, film, TV series and e-sports are to become channels of inheritance, exploration and traditional cultural innovation. Combined with each other, they will foster an ecosystem for the New-Culture Creativity that is open, collaborative and innovative. Such a collaboration will bridge modern technology with humanistic knowledge and cultural creativity, to inspire young people’s passions for the world’s outstanding traditional cultures. In the future, the two sides will also work together to support research in philosophy and human sciences.

Mr. Chao Gejin, President of CIPSH and Member of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the online-signing ceremony: “In 2017, Tencent joined hands with CIPSH as a partner in supporting the World Humanities Conference sponsored by UNESCO and CIPSH in Liege, Belgium, 6TH -11TH, August, 2017. Mr. Edward Wu Cheng attended the conference, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony on behalf of Tencent, expressing that Tencent would like to contribute to the development of the international humanities in one way or another. This great start laid the foundation for the following cooperation. With mutual understanding and trust, now the new joint plan is underway. I am delighted to witness the present signing ceremony today and more than happy to sign the memorandum as the representative of CIPSH. I hope our two sides are heading for a brighter future.”

According to Mr. Edward Wu Cheng, Vice President of Tencent Group, CEO of Tencent Pictures and CEO of China Literature Group, joining hands with CIPSH offers Tencent an opportunity to further engage in cooperation and exchanges with leading international academic institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to mankind. Against this backdrop, we must use technology to bring about more humanity and make great cultural products to ease people’s anxiety and bring hope to their lives.

As Mr. Cheng said: “In addition to the common values shared by humankind, popular cultural symbols across the world are all rooted in their respective national cultural traditions. Great cultural IPs are transcending boundaries of time, age and geography. The key lies in how to best use technology in innovative ways. Tencent hopes to work with CIPSH to explore the best ways of bringing about a co-existence between technology and culture."

Mr. Luiz Oosterbeek, Secretary-General of CIPSH, said: “Humans are experiencing a profound cultural and civilizational transformation, which combines the preservation and enhancing of diversity with a growing understanding of their unity as a species and as communities with a shared future, anchored in the values of humanism. Following the ongoing assessment by the World Humanities Report, there is a need for the various sectors of society to keep values and purpose at the core of all technical solutions, and we must welcome this agreement in that context. The pandemic renders evident not only the importance of the digital technologies, but the need to bridge them with analogic dimensions, allowing for a full expression of human transformative behavior. This collaboration with Tencent, which will also build from the efforts of CIPSH in programmes like Global History of Humanity, Humanities, Arts and Society or CIPSH Chairs, is a promising contribution for such endeavor.”

"Neo-Culture Creativity" refers to a cultural production mode with IP construction as the core in the new era, and was first proposed by Tencent. After nine years of practice in the field, Tencent’ Neo-Culture Creativity established a brand-new ecosystem bringing together online literature, animation, film, TV series, e-sports and games, offering a multi-dimensional platform for cultural IP creation. An innovative and workable path for creating digital cultural products has taken shape in the process, contributing greatly to the improvement of China's original digital cultural creation. CIPSH also speaks highly about the increasing global popularity of China’s online literature, films and TV series, games, animation and music, and believes that they are of substantial importance to the global digital cultural industry’s upgrade and innovation.

For example, recently Tencent’s popular mobile game, “Honor of Kings” released its latest version, “San Fen Zhi Di”, based on stories from the Three Kingdoms period in ancient China. Mr. Jianxiong Ge, a renowned historian, and other well-known experts and scholars participated in its creation. They offered professional interpretations of the cultural essence of the Three Kingdoms, and helped add younger elements to the game. This new way of combining traditional culture and mobile gaming has been well received by players. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tencent worked together with the Dunhuang Academy of China to launch a mini program called “Touring Dunhuang in the Clouds, that told stories about Dunhuang through a e-calendar and interactive animation etc. It attracted more than 12 million visits by 3.5 million users in two months. In addition, the TV series “Joy of Life” (Qing Yu Nian), adapted from the novels by writer of online literature, Mao Ni, has been a huge success. Combining traditional aesthetics with the modern spirit, it earned 13 billion views. In addition, the English version of “Joy of life” has won numerous fans overseas, who are not only watching the series but also now discussing traditional Chinese culture with great passion.

China's digital culture and related industries are currently undergoing rapid development. The “Development Trends Report of China's Digital Cultural Industry”, was jointly released by the State Council’s Development Research Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Tencent Social Research Center in August 2019. It described how the growth rate of China’s cultural and related industries from 2004 to 2017 achieved twice that of the country’s GDP over the same time period, and also predicted its output value to reach RMB 8 trillion in 2020. The digital creative industry is also flourishing worldwide, transforming museums, music, games, education and tourism. During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital cultural products have greatly enriched the spiritual lives of people around the world, and are bound to continue to flourish in the post-pandemic era.”

Professor Ping-Chen Hsiung, a CIPSH Chair and Member of the CIPSH Executive Committee, who leads the Neo-Culture Creativity research team, said: “Now, with this new strategic collaboration between Tencent and CIPSH, an international research team will be established, led by myself, engaging CIPSH in general and, namely, the CIPSH chair in New Humanities and its resources in different continents. Our research will examine how the NCC’s impact on digital culture may be analyzed from the social history of popular culture, critical cultural theory, amidst such global trends in the West as well as the Asian Pacific region.”

The International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) was established on 18 January 1949, in Brussels, Belgium with the support of Sir Julian Huxley, UNESCO’s first Director-General. Along with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the International Council for Science (ICSU) of UNESCO, these three have become a solid trio leading academic associations. Since its founding, CIPSH has been committed to promoting the development of human sciences and remains the world's top academic organization in the field.
This strategic cooperation not only marks Tencent's deepening relationship with CIPSH, an organization that has enjoyed a great international reputation for over 70 years, but it also demonstrates Tencent's efforts on Neo-Culture Creativity are being recognized by leading international academic organizations. From 6 to 12 August 2017, Tencent participated as a strategic partner in the “2017 World Humanities Conference: Challenges and Responsibilities for a Planet in Transition”, co-sponsored by UNESCO, CIPSH and the Municipal Government of Liege, Belgium. Mr. Edward Wu Cheng delivered a speech at the opening ceremony in which he shared Tencent's practice in, and thoughts on, the digital cultural industry. A total of 1,800 scholars from all over the world attended the conference and helped in the production of the Outcome Document “A New Humanities Agenda for the 21st Century”.

July 30, 2020