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China’s Ongoing Two Sessions See Urges of Stepping up Blockchain Applications in Real Life

With China’s Two Sessions gathering the country’s elites from corporates to political parties to pitch new development ideas and strategies, blockchain, as a nascent yet disruptive technology, has been attached growing importance at the country’s biggest annual political event.

This year, blockchain is mostly mentioned as a trending technology together with IoT (internet of Things), big data, AI (Artificial Intelligence). Policy advisors are mainly focusing on the real use of blockchain technology, while Beijing has looked on the tech with relative ambivalence for its links with bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies this time last year. The event has seen notable comments from tech moguls and government leaders.

For instance, Dong Mingzhu, president of world’s largest air-conditioner manufacturer Gree Electric, believes blockchain technology impacts people’s thinking, and it not only changes the concepts, but also needs down-to-earth work.

Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi Inc., one of the world’s largest mobile phone makers, urges to strengthen blockchain application in medical industry. Zhou Hongyi, chairman of internet security firm Qihoo 360, who cast doubts on blockchain claiming the only real application of blockchain he could see was bitcoin at last year’s Two Sessions, suggests applying blockchain tech to network security.

Meanwhile, Zhou Hanming, vice president of Shanghai CPPCC, proposes to leverage encryption technology to improve security protection measures on big data. Be more specific, he suggests to use “B to C” private blockchain technology to establish a private blockchain between the website/client and each user and record each operation of the user, in this way, even if the account is stolen, the node before the theft can be rolled back and the user can continue to use it after changing password.

Addressing the issues of financial risk control, Fan Xiaoyun, a CPPCC member from Nankai University, proposes to apply blockchain, big data and AI to the measurement and supervision of systemic financial risks. He comments that blockchain projects without coins that serve the real economy are highly supported.

Interest in blockchain application in public service, charity, justice, as well as industry upgrade has also been growing. Earlier at the city-level conferences, policy advisors have brought attention to the blockchain tech. Provinces like Guangxi and Guizhou promise to bring in blockchain and step up its application; Fujian, Shandong, Yunnan and Chongqing have written blockchain into local government work report. Internet giants and traditional sectors have also make foray in blockchain; blockchain applications from startup enterprises are in fast growth, with investment and financing in the space tending rational.

Blockchain has been brought to the event’s attention since 2017 when the then PBoC (China’s central bank) governor Zhou Xiaochuan said “digital currency and blockchain will generate far-reaching impacts that may not be imagined or predicted currently.”

The country’s enthusiasm for blockchain reached an all-time high last May when president Xi Jinping made a public announcement about the importance of pursuing technological research. Xi recognized blockchain as one of the five pillars of a “new generation of information technology” along with AI, quantum computing, mobile internet, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Though China has already clamped down on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and fiat-to-crypto trading since September 2017, the government is stepping up its support for turning blockchain technology into real-life applications.

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