Alphabet Inc's Google and Tencent Holdings Ltd on Friday signaled possible future collaboration on developing new technologies as the US and Chinese firms announced a long-term patent-sharing agreement.
The companies gave no details on the scope or nature of the potential cooperation but said in a joint statement that they "are open to deeper collaboration in the future on innovative new technologies".
"By working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users," Google’s head of patents, Mike Lee, was quoted saying.
Sam Xu, head of intellectual property at Tencent, added that the patent agreement would "advance the collaboration between two leading technology companies".
The US technology company has signed similar agreements before with Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Cisco Systems Inc, but the deal with Tencent is a first with a large Chinese tech firm.
Tencent oversees China's top social media and payments app, WeChat, which has close to a billion users. It also oversees one of the country's most popular app stores and hosts the country's biggest gaming and livestream platforms.
Any cooperation between the US search giant and China's all-conquering tech leader -- the world's second- and fifth-largest companies by market value, according to Bloomberg News -- is bound to generate buzz in the IT world.