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Blockchain: A Solution to China’s Fake Wine ‘Epidemic’?

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Chinese wine enthusiasts are turning to blockchain technology in an attempt to fight counterfeits, reports the South China Morning Post.

Source: iStock/michaklootwijk

VeChain, a blockchain platform, backed by PwC, one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, is working with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Direct Imported Goods (DIG) shopping mall on the project. Both VeChain and DIG have previously experimented with blockchain technology applications to fight the sale of counterfeit and contraband fashion items.

French wine producer Pierre Ferraud & Fils has signed a deal that will see 10,000 bottles of 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau red wine made sold at DIG outlets. The French company hopes to export 100,000 blockchain technology-verified bottles to DIG by 2019.

VeChain says that customers can use a smartphone app to scan bottles’ QR codes and peruse blockchain-verified winery details, grape types and Chinese customs declaration numbers. They will also be able to see exactly when the bottle left the warehouse in France, and when it arrived in Shanghai.

The Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine has estimated that 30,000 bottles of fake imported wine are sold every hour in China, and Forbes last year called fake and contraband wine sales in the country “an epidemic.”