Tencent Facilitates Immersive Virtual Tours of Important Cultural Sites


The International Day of Monuments and Sites (IDMS) 2023, more commonly known as World Heritage Day, provided the perfect backdrop for Tencent and Dunhuang Research Academy to launch a first of its kind hyperspace participatory museum today on the Digital Grotto Project.

The Digital Grotto Project will be accessible to international users soon.

The online museum uses game technologies such as high-definition digital photo scanning, rendering of game engines, and global dynamic lighting to virtually reproduce the historical scenes of the Library Caves and more than 60,000 precious cultural relics stored inside. With 4K film-level picture quality and interactive mode, visitors can actually “walk into” the Library Cave in high-definition 3D for an immersive experience and “travel through time” to interact with historical figures, stories, and settings associated with the Library Cave at different times. They can also examine up close 21 pieces of manuscripts, documents, and silk paintings.

The Digital Grotto Project is just one of many projects to which Tencent is devoting its unique technical expertise to support the sustainable preservation of cultural heritage in China and elsewhere. Applying technologies such as AR, VR, 3D creation tools, audio, big data, block chain, cloud computing, knowledge graphs and other advances, Tencent is digitizing everything from physical heritage sites and landscapes to cultural relics and artworks at millimeter-level precision, making them more widely accessible.

The comparison of the real and digital restoration of a three-story cave.

By incorporating digitized relics into animation, film, television, games and other formats, Tencent is also helping to generate more interest and awareness from the public, especially younger generations, on historic cultural sites and the importance of preserving and protecting them.

Upholding its Vision of “Tech for Good,” Tencent continues to explore the application of new innovations beyond business purposes for social and economic good. The conservation of cultural assets is a key focus. In addition to promoting the sustainable protection, inheritance and innovative development of cultural heritage in China, Tencent is also actively working with global museums to digitally bring their collections to art lovers around the world.

“Technology is catapulting us into the future at lightning speed, but we are also able to harness our technology especially games expertise in creating life-like virtual worlds and immersive interactions that allow users to ‘travel back’ to historical time and witness the changes of historical sites and precious cultural relics. From high-definition reproductions to virtual exhibition halls and animations, technology is reproducing and restoring historic sites, relics and artworks in their full and former glory,” said Vincent Li, VP of Corporate Marketing and Public Relations, Tencent.     

Tencent Cultural Heritage Projects

Great Wall Protection

Project Commencement: 2016

Partner: China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC)  


  • Donate US$6.5 million to restoration projects that cover 3 sections in Beijing and Hebei Province
  • Digitize 360-degree panoramic photos of the Great Wall

Accessible Through:

  • Weixin Mini Program GREAT WALL E-TOUR”
  • Handmade Planet sandbox game
  • NFO——Graphics of the Great Wall
  • Another Brick On The Wall

The Palace Museum (Forbidden City), Beijing

Project Commencement: 2016

Partner: The Palace Museum


  • Digitize 100,000 cultural relics
  • Build joint innovation laboratory

Accessible Through:

  • Multi-sensory, immersive digital exhibition
  • Weixin Mini Program
  • Weixin Channels series videos
  • Livestream
  • Documentaries, films, TV shows, and custom videos for the minors

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, Gansu Province

Project Commencement: 2017

Partner: Dunhuang Research Academy


  • Digitize caves and artworks within
  • Develop cultural and creative product

Accessible through:

  • Immersive online museum
  • Blockchain-based Digital Dunhuang Material Library and co-creation platform
  • Weixin Mini Program
  • Film, comic, game, music
  • Animation drama series
  • Creative campaigns and exhibitions
  • Charity activities

Van Gogh Museum, Netherlands

Project Commencement: 2021

Partner: Van Gogh Museum


  • Interactive virtual experience of exhibits, artifacts and paintings
  • E-Commerce

Accessible Through:

  • Weixin Mini Program
  • Weixin Channels, video and livestreaming

Digital Axis Project, Beijing

Project Commencement: 2022

Partner: Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Heritage


  • Digitize bird’s eye view of architectural and historic landmarks on Beijing’s 7.8km Central Axis
  • Compile Sustainable Development Index
  • Support wildlife conservation

Accessible Through:

  • Weixin Mini Program

Sanxingdui, Sichuan Province

Project Commencement: 2022

Partner: Sichuan Cultural Heritage Administration (SCHA)


  • Digital archaeology and multi-dimensional digital research
  • Establish digital archive to store archaeological data