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  • Shenzhen is China's Silicon Valley.

  • It used to be regarded as a workshop of the world,

  • but now it's home to some of the most advanced technology

  • on the planet and some of the world's most innovative office

  • buildings.

  • This is a new home of Tencent, China's biggest tech company.

  • They're the people behind messaging WeChat, which

  • has close to one billion users.

  • It's no ordinary company, and this is no ordinary building.

  • It's been designed to encourage extraordinary thinking.

  • The traditional tower is very good for -

  • put your head down, get the work done, all that kind of stuff,

  • we know from our own research and experience, that

  • doesn't lead to the best ideas.

  • The random interaction workplace is a really big deal,

  • and it makes a really big difference in terms

  • of the output of that company.

  • That's why they came up with these sky bridges

  • linking the two towers, designed as a place for people to meet.

  • It's like going to the water cooler in a conventional office

  • to have a gossip, except Tencent workers have

  • to come here because it's the only way they

  • can switch elevators.

  • There are plenty of attractions too,

  • from snacks to extreme sports.

  • Never seen a climbing wall quite this high.

  • It's pretty intense and, you know,

  • we wanted to make an impact.

  • Because the health of the employee,

  • the well-being of the employee, the fitness and employee is

  • centre to a successful high performance company,

  • which Tencent is.

  • It's a little bit intimidating, that wall,

  • but it could be quite exciting.

  • For a company built around people hunching

  • over mobile phones, Tencent appears

  • to take physical activity seriously.

  • There's a running track that bends around the two

  • towers, a basketball court, and ranks of pool tables

  • that hint at EU, the English pub,

  • but which look like the Hale from a Quangdong factory.

  • So the other sort of thing that you always

  • associate with tech companies is the bean bags, the lamps.

  • Where is all that?

  • A lot of companies have moved beyond that.

  • In the end of the day, how comfortable are bean bags?

  • Clearly the real point of Tencent is work.

  • This is a $500 billion plus tech giant,

  • combining the services of Facebook, Apple, Amazon,

  • Netflix, Google, and even Spotify.

  • But the higher like zones of workstations could be mistaken

  • for a Manila call centre.

  • It really seems just very paired back, absolutely zero frills.

  • The sort of utilitarian, almost like here style lamps

  • - kind of standard issue plants.

  • The building will soon be home to 10,000 people.

  • That's 25% of Tencent's workforce.

  • From the top, you can pick out other Chinese tech giants

  • while enjoying a sneaky cigarette if the running track

  • lacks appeal.

  • But will sky bridges and ping pong tables really

  • bring about the spontaneous gatherings

  • that designers claim generate brilliant ideas,

  • or will everyone be stuck at their desks

  • WeChatting each other from different floors?

Shenzhen is China's Silicon Valley.

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B1 UK FinancialTimes tencent tech company employee bean

Tencent's vertical campus

  • 17 0
    Samuel posted on 2018/06/01
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