China Appoints Tencent, Baidu, PBoC Execs to Lead New Blockchain Committee

The central government of the People’s Republic of China has officially announced the members of its newly formed, national blockchain committee. The committee, which will be tasked with setting standards for the burgeoning blockchain industry, will be headed by some of the most notable executives in the country. 

According to an official announcement from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the committee currently comprises 71 members. The governing body, called the National Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Standardization Technical Committee, has been formed after receiving approval from the National Standardization Management Committee.

While all of the 71 members of the committee are expected to have equal say in creating and setting standards for the blockchain industry, it will have separate management in place. The ministry said that the committee will be chaired by Chen Zhaoxiong, the deputy minister of MIIT. Apart from a chairman, the committee will also have 5 vice presidents, all of whom have been chosen from various high-ranking government positions. One of the vice presidents, the ministry said in the announcement, will be an official from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Currency Research Institute. 

At least a dozen committee members are associates or deans at some of China’s biggest universities, including Tsinghua University, Fudan University, and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. 

However, the most notable members come from the country’s tech giants—a move that indicates a united front from both the public and the private sector when it comes to dealing with blockchain technology.

Namely, Li Maocai, the general manager of blockchain technology at Tencent, as well as Xiao Wei, the director of Baidu’s blockchain labs, are both members of the committee. The blockchain project director at Huawei, Zhang Xiaojun, is also a member. 

While extensive, the list of members isn’t conclusive. MIIT called on the public to assess the members and provide feedback on the ministry’s choice. People have until May 12 to send their feedback to the ministry through email.

The launch of a national blockchain committee follows the latest proposition from China’s President Xi Jinping, who called on the country to use blockchain technology to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated that about 20 blockchain-based applications have been designed to address various problems that pertain to the virus spread in February alone.

Since Xi emphasized the development of blockchain technology and called for more research, investment, and regulations for it last October, blockchain-related news from China keeps on coming as the country aims to take the lead in the race to implement blockchain initiatives.

Beijing has been leading the way when it comes to crypto innovations this year, as it announced plans to launch a pilot blockchain invoicing platform, similar to the one launched in Shenzhen last year. 

With the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) releasing a detailed standard for blockchain technology earlier this year, the country has been setting a strong foundation for becoming a leader in distributed ledger technologies. 

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