Tesla to Roll Out Two Poker Games across Chinese Infotainment System
Tesla boss Elon Musk likes to stir the pot every once in a while. And a new Tesla over-the-air software update that will give Chinese users not one but two poker games could stir quite a big pot.
Tesla said earlier this month that it has partnered Chinese gaming giant Tencent to develop three games – including mahjong and two versions of poker – and to make those available to Chinese consumers through the popular Silicon Valley car maker’s infotainment system.
The update is set to be released sometime in the first quarter of 2020. It will also include two video-streaming channels from Alibaba-backed video hosting service provider Youku and cartoon-focused video-sharing website Bilibili.
It should be noted that the three games will be connected to the Internet, marking the first time the electric automaker will provide this type of offering across its fleet. Dashboard games have already been made available to US Tesla owners, but these are not Internet-connected.
Tesla is widely seen as a leader in in-car infotainment. Owners of Tesla models say they often use the entertainment offerings, many of which curated by Musk himself, while waiting for the car to charge.
Like all dashboard games, Tesla’s new poker and mahjong offerings will only work when the vehicle is properly parked.
It is still unknown when exactly the update will be set into motion, but it will only be available in China for the time being, the automaker has said.
Tesla Boosting Poker’s Popularity in China
Tesla’s move to bring poker to its China-facing fleet came as a bit of a surprise, given the Chinese government’s proverbial dislike of everything gambling-related. Tencent’s participation was also quite surprising.
Last year, the game developer landed in hot water and was ordered by the Chinese government to shut down a number of its free-to-play poker apps.
Chinese lawmakers have traditionally been opposed to gambling and have carried out a number of anti-gambling campaigns in recent years to prevent the proliferation of various practices that can be classified as gambling. The crackdown on social casino-style games was just one example of how serious the government was about barring such activities from the Mainland.
It is to be seen how the government will react to Tesla’s new software update and the presence of poker in it. Yet, it should be noted that the automaker has a massive and devoted following in China and the roll-out of two poker variants could certainly spearhead the growth of popularity of the game in that gigantic market.
Growing and pleasing its customer base in China is particularly important for Tesla. The car maker has just recently opened its first Gigafactory in China. Earlier today, the company delivered the first 15 Model 3 cars from its $5 billion Shanghai factory to their owners. Tesla promised to ramp up production next year and to reach an annual capacity of 150,000 Model 3 cars per year.
Source: Tesla owners in China can soon play mahjong and poker in cars, The South China Morning Post
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