Guangzhou Aims for National Blockchain Pioneer Status as China’s Global Edge in Debate

The capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, Guangzhou is aiming to be famous software Chinese city that has blockchain as its characteristics, according to a local report.

Guangzhou last week issued a guideline with plans to form a batch of replicable blockchain application scenarios, build a national-level blockchain pioneer demonstration zone and make blockchain technology be at the forefront of China, the Xinhua Silk Road Information Service reported.

While laudable, the key tasks to achieve these goals are broken into seven aspects. They include building an independent information technology system, creating coordinated industrial ecology, introducing leading companies in the industry, building an industrial agglomeration development highland, actively expanding industrial application scenarios, increasing support for industry talents, and optimizing industrial development environment.

Guangzhou has been working as an integral part of China’s effort to be a global leader in emerging technologies including blockchain especially as there are now suggestions that a power shift is going China’s way. The city’s mar­ket reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity told Xinkuai Bao in March that its Guangzhou Mu­nic­i­pal Ed­i­ble Agri­cul­tural Prod­uct Track­ing Plat­form will be the first in China to use blockchain, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, big data and cloud com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies to im­prove reg­u­la­tion of food hy­giene.

Earlier in December, its Guangzhou Pub­lic Re­source Trans­ac­tion Cen­ter spearheaded the execution of the “Pub­lic Re­source Trans­ac­tion Blockchain Plat­form Shar­ing Ap­pli­ca­tion Co­op­er­a­tive Agree­ment” with the pub­lic re­source trans­ac­tion cen­ters of nine other cities, in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Zhuhai, Wuhan, Chang­sha, Nan­jing, Hangzhou, Xi­a­men, Fos­han and Dong­guan. The agreement follows the city’s announcement of an over $140 mln subsidy fund to encourage the development of blockchain initiatives.

Guangzhou’s blockchain initiatives would likely be interoperated into China’s blockchain-based service network (BSN)launched as a global public infrastructure network that aims to reduce blockchain applications’ costs consistently in development, deployment, operation and maintenance, interoperability and regulation. The BSN has since been in commercial use after its beta testing started in October last year.

China’s emerging leadership role in the technology space – as well as other sectors – has been a subject of debate of late even in the face of news such as that Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company with outlets in more than 70 countries, recently completed its first international yuan-denominated letter of credit transaction using blockchain.

The transaction between Chinese steelmaker Baosteel and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto on Contour marks the first paperless deal in the iron ore industry using RMB, according to SCB. This highlighted growing importance of China in global trade supports a related argument by global political risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft that China is likely to recover first from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and use the opportunity to raise its profile and expand its influence particularly over countries hard-hit by the pandemic.

Billionaire co-chairman of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio shares a similar view saying he sees China emerging as the dominant power once the pandemic’s dust settles.

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