With A Tencent Partnership, Sanxingdui Museum Goes All In On Its Cultural IP

The Chinese museum is set to expand its IP into gaming, music, and e-literature, with help from the technology giant.

Sanxingdui Museum signed a cooperation agreement with Tencent to integrate its intellectual property (IP) with the tech company’s music and video game departments.

What is Sanxingdui?

Located in Sichuan province, southwest China, it houses Bronze Age artifacts dating back 3,000 years from the Shu Kingdom, an ancient state. First discovered in 1929, archeologists put Sanxingdui on the map in the late ’80s and continue to make discoveries today. It recently applied for UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status.

What is Tencent?

Technology giant dominant in China’s social media landscape (WeChat) and the world’s gaming ecosystem (holds significant stakes in Riot Games and Epic Games).

Why the deal matters

The Tencent deal embodies Sanxingdui’s ongoing push for broader recognition. The museum may lack the cultural clout and international fame of Xi’an’s Terracotta Army or the Great Wall of China, but it’s using technology, gaming, and youth culture to elevate its status both domestically and abroad (hence its seeking UNESCO status).

Key to this push is connecting with China’s post-’80s and post-’90s generations. In the early days of the pandemic, it enthusiastically embraced livestreaming, a tool it used to show millions of viewers how archaeologists were unearthing more than 500 artifacts in Spring 2021. It has also been at the forefront of China’s craze for creating cultural products popular with younger consumers (known as wenchuang) — it was one of the first museums to create blind box figurines using its IP. Continue to read the full article here