China Unveils a Blockchain Pilot Zone in Shanghai for Intelligent Manufacturing

Lingang, a seaside satellite town south of Shanghai, has recently launched a blockchain pilot zone with an aim to set up 15 blockchain-powered smart factories for intelligent manufacturing, according to ChinaZ.com.

Sitting on the coast of Pudong, about 47 miles southeast of the center of Shanghai, Lingang has come under the spotlight since October as Tesla acquired an 864,885-square meter plot there for  for its US$2 billion Gigafactory 3, its first factory outside the U.S. The once little-known “ghost town” now turns to emerging technologies like blockchain to support smart manufacturing, consolidating its status as the backbone of Shanghai’s technology innovation.

Li Jia, an official of Lingang Administrative Committee told a blockchain conference held in Lingang,Shanghai on December 28 that the newly-created pilot zone will highlight the integration of blockchain and intelligent manufacturing, and promote the application of the technology in 10 fields, including cultural and creative, logistics settlement, medical and healthcare, anti-counterfeiting, supply chain and Internet of Vehicles(IoV).

“ Specifically, Lingang is dedicated to offering underlying support for blockchain development and exepiditing the establishment of blockchain platforms.” Li said, “Our efforts include the research and development of public, private and consortium blockchains, blockchain hard wares and the creation of a trusted data sharing platform which leverages blockchain technology to allow the free flow of data.” He added that the blockchain demonstration zone will facilitate the upgrades of blockchain products and information services, and it will promote the construction of blockchain security protection and evaluation systems.

Lingang was built in 2013 and initially covered 28.78 square kilometers with an initial goal to turn Shanghai into a free-trade port rivaling Hong Kong and Singapore. But after a very long time, the experiment turned up to fail. In 2016, the Chinese government pumped $2.7 billion into the port area in a bid to build Lingang into a hub for high-tech research and development. And in 2018, blockchain has been integrated into the satellite town’s development strategy. The town plans to take advantage of blockchain’s decentralization and data reliability features to help manufacturing companies reduce operation costs and increase production efficiency.

In May, a blockchain research lab set up by the National Eastern Tech-Transfer Center, an agency under China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the Government of Shanghai, was unveiled in Lingang. The research institution will play a key role in nurturing blockchain innovation for industrial applications in the region.

Shanghai, a vibrant city in the blockchain world, is home to some of the largest Chinese blockchain projects like NEO and Ontology. Now, Lingang’s rising, along with a strong talent pool and local government initiatives to fuel business growth, inputs new driving forces for building Shanghai into a global blockchain center.

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