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Tencent Handing Out 72,000 Digital Mascots to Employees

By Kongru
Nov. 12, 2021 updated 08:03

Chinese tech giant Tencent celebrates its 23rd birthday in true cyber fashion, handing out 72,000 issues of NFT digital Mascots to its employees.

 It is Tencent’s tradition to give almost every employee a mascot on its birthday. The mascot, a cartoonish penguin, was the first-ever brand logo/mascot to be decided by an online vote, in China. This figure was so iconic that Tencent is often referred to as the “Penguin Company” on the Chinese internet.

 Tencent was very good at merchandising the penguin in form of stuffed dolls or plastic figures. Many senior employees are proud to have a collection of stuffed penguins in their homes, and some of the rarer dolls are even considered to be novelty collectibles among certain circles.

The digital mascots issued this year are encrypted and distributed in blockchain, each has its unique key and currently can be traded on Tencent's own Phantom Core NFT market. The features and characteristics of each mascot are procedurally generated by AI with some touch-ups by artists. There are also around 1,000 unique themed designs including Charles Chaplin, Albert Einstein, and Lunar Goddess Chang’e. The latter is already in auction for 50,000 RMB (~780 USD) on Tencent’s employee trading platform.

 Despite some analysts trying to connect this with Tencent’s interest in metaverse and blockchain in general, we believe it may be a bit pointless to read into Tencent’s actions here beyond it being an impressive technical trial and a cool project. However, creating, distributing, and overseeing the trading of a massive NFT project like this in such a short timeframe certainly demonstrated Tencent’s prowess to be a big part of the still-growing NFT fever.