Huawei, Alipay, Tencent Join China's Latest Push in Blockchain Development
In its push for fast development and utilization of blockchain, China has formed a national committee tasked with creating standards for this technology, the members of which include a number of tech giants.
China seems to be serious about its blockchain plans. As the country's next step in the process, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has formed a National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee. On April 13, they published a list of executives, researchers, academics and other members of 71 companies, enforcement agencies, banks, insurances, institutes, universities, and other public entities, including National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China - all of whom represent the members of this newly-formed committee. And it includes some globally known names.
Among these 71, we find: smartphone maker Huawei; Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate and operator of mobile payment platform Alipay; search engine Baidu; internet giant Tencent, the owner of major messaging app WeChat; e-commerce company E-commerce giant JD.com, etc. Furthermore, People's Bank of China Digital Currency Research Institute, Beijing Aershan Blockchain Alliance Technology Co., Ltd., as well as other institutes and organizations focused on finance, digital yuan, and blockchain research made the list.
The formation of this group follows the approval from the National Standardization Management Committee, says the announcement. The group's main focus will be discussing and setting industry standards for distributed ledger technology (DLT). Each member has been assigned a role, most acting as 'committee member.' Its chairman is Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister at MIIT, while it also has five vice-presidents hailing from MIIT, China Electronics Standardization Institute, and People's Bank of China Digital Currency Research Institute.
This latest move by China may potentially lead to this second-largest economy and large country of 26 provinces and c. 1.4 billion people to create a common method of blockchain development, furthering the technology's adoption. This is no small task, but it would likely bring numerous benefits, including the increased speed of its development, improved interoperability, faster scalability, etc. However, this committee and/or the standards they create might also influence other countries and their blockchain-related plans.
Lastly, with this announcement, the MIIT is asking for public feedback on the committee members, open until May 12.
As previously reported, China’s President Xi Jinping urged the country in October 2019 to accelerate the development of blockchain due to its importance "in the new round of technological innovation and industrial transformation" of China. In March this year, Xi voiced his support for this technology once more, praising its ability to aid efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the spread of fake news. Meanwhile, the Northwestern Chinese province of Gansu said that all of its cities are now covered by its Blockchain Service Network (BSN) service platform.