JD.com launches China’s first blockchain platform for electronic business licenses

JD.com takes a step forward into blockchain amidst sinking share price.

Chinese e-tailer JD.com has reportedly launched China’s first blockchain-based e-business license platform in its founder and chief executive officer Richard Liu’s hometown Suqian. The company had signed a memorandum with the local Administration for Industry and Commerce to bring eletronic format of business licenses online.

While the Chinese government has been very wary of the pitfalls of digital currencies like bitcoins, initial coin offerings or any cryptocurrency for that matter, China is generally receptive towards the technology behind cryptos, namely blockchain.

The platform, dubbed Zichen Blockchain, will be able to record every change, every update, and every transaction made by businesses on JD’s platform, that will allow JD to verify vendor information that can help to ensure the authenticity of products in the online world.  And this could be the answer for e-commerce players in China to meet new regulatory requirements that hold e-commerce platforms accountable for the issue of counterfeit products.

JD.com isn’t the only one looking to the blockchain in China’s tech sphere.

Archrival Alibaba Group Holdings alone had already filed for more than 10% of the world’s blockchain patents. Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial started using blockchain technology to improve accountability in its Chinese charity industry as early as the summer of 2016.

Baidu began its Blockchain-as-a-Service solution at the beginning of this year. 6 months later, it took another step to release its energy-efficient ‘super chain’ blockchain protocol to reduce energy consumption during the mining process.

Takeaways

– While it has been well-documented that Chinese regulatory authorities have been very hostile towards cryptocurrency, they remain very receptive to blockchain technology. Xi Jinping, China’s President, himself once talked about how he views blockchain as one of the new generation of technologies that will reshape the global economic structure.

– In a Thomson Reuters report, it was revealed that 56% of the world’s blockchain patents in 2017 actually come from China. So competition within the country is only set to escalate.

– Despite all the hype, Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma had a different opinion. To Ma, blockchain and other advanced technologies will only become truly  ‘meaningful’ only when they can successfully lead society into a greener future. Thus, all these developments in blockchain might just be a prelude to something bigger. It is just the beginning.

Editor: Ben Jiang