China / Business

From clicks to bricks as Tencent helps rebuild the Great Wall

By He Wei in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2017-08-17 08:49

Internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd has kick-started a program to preserve and rebuild parts of the Great Wall to spread the charm of this world heritage site.

The company announced in late July its intention to help preserve Jiankou Great Wall, one of the sections in danger, located in Huairou district of Beijing. Tencent is working under the auspices of the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation - to which Tencent donated 20 million yuan ($2.99 million) in 2016.

Tencent is promoting such endeavors through its diverse social networking platforms and users' data base, where its technology advantages are applied to make the program attractive to the younger generation.

Three animated characters, which represented different parts of Great Wall in Hebei and Shanxi provinces, told the stories and history of the Great Wall on the animation platform of Tencent to arouse awareness of the Great Wall and efforts to protect it.

"They are designed to stimulate young people's love for the country," said Gu Xiaojie, president of China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The hot mobile e-sports game, King of Glory, developed by Tencent, pledged to fund the program to restore the 1,000-mile Jiankou Great Wall.

It will promote the work through WeChat and video, as well as its new series of characters in the game, including Great Wall guardians. The online giant has also worked hard to build an online communication channel to bridge the worlds of Great Wall experts and netizens, who are longing for relevant knowledge.

"We make full strides to conserve the appearance and the spirit of this architectural miracle of China," said Cheng Wu, vice-president of Tencent.

The Great Wall, an ancient military defense project intended to protect the northern border of China, was the first in the country to be included in the World Heritage List 30 years ago.

In just 10 years since then, China received donations worldwide of over 28 million yuan. This was used to restore more than six kilometers of the Great Wall, said Dong Yaohui, executive vice-president of China Great Wall Society.

"Having witnessed the 2,600-year-long history and the rise and fall of countries, Great Wall is not merely the symbol of China, but the heritage of all human beings," said Guo Kaitian, secretary general of Tencent Charitable Foundation.

He added that the program aimed to maintain the natural landscape of the Great Wall, instead of renovating it, which might set an example for the conservation of the other parts of the Great Wall in the future.

The charitable efforts of Tencent also extend to online fundraising for the conservation of Xifengkou Great Wall in Hebei province, which will be launched in September.

Cao Chen contributed to this story.

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