Blockchain Tops China’s Words of the Year 2019

Blockchain has been nominated on the list of China’s words of the year for 2019, according to the freshly released “Top Ten Popular Words of the Year”.

It has been an annual tradition since 2009 that Chinese magazine Yao Wen Jiao Zi (literally meaning “Biting Words”) releases a “Top Ten Popular Words of the Year” list, regularly joined by a list from National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center (NLRMRC) on key internet buzzwords.

The run-downs are usually a mix of party-pleasing political vocab and popular culture buzzwords. These key words could help define China in the past year.

“Blockchain”, the buzzword frequently hitting the news headlines in the past 11 months, especially during the past two months, comes second on the Biting Words’ list. Meanwhile, for the technology and corporate sectors, blockchain also makes into the top three hot words along with AI and 5G.

During a speech in October, the country’s president Xi Jinping described blockchain as “an important breakthrough” and urged China to take the leading position in the emerging field of blockchain.

Immediately after Xi’s endorsement, news media has been bombarding the public with articles about the blockchain technology; the Communist Party and governments at all levels make quick responses to Xi’s call.

According to incomplete statistics, 11 regions in 10 cities, including Hainan, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Changsha, Qingdao, Guiyang, Zhuhai, Suzhou and Fuzhou, have issued special preferential subsidy policies for the blockchain industry. It is expected that the supportive policies for blockchain will accelerate to be implemented in all parts of the country from 2020.

In the latest development, Hainan’s dedicated economic pilot zone has pledged to set up a fund worth 1 billion yuan ($142 million) for the local blockchain industry.

2019 has been the year that blockchain takes off in China. Apart from the government’s actions, the country’s central bank – the People’s Bank of China – is reportedly about to pilot its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) in a small scale by the year end and then launch the pilot in Shenzhen and Suzhou in the upcoming 2020.

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