China’s Nutrition Giant Rushes into Blockchain Innovation, Hype or Next Big Thing?
January 24, 2018—Despite regulators’ stern warning and renewed crackdown efforts, an increasing number of Chinese traditional companies, beyond Internet and technology giants, are trying to cash in on the blockchain hype.
Shanghai Goldpartner Biotech, a well-known health-supplement maker, is one of them. The firm intends to leverage blockchain technology to promote its hot-selling tonic “Nao Bai Jin”(a melatonin product).
According to Beijing Morning Post, team insiders of Nao Bai Jin revealed that this melatonin product would attempt to use blockchain in its big sale for the coming Spring Festival, with a hope to secure a leading position in the field of new healthy products.
Specifically, in this blockchain trial, Nao Bai Jin will take advantage of various internet tools like decentralized Wechat communities to encourage more people to join in the “block” of showing filial piety towards their parents during the Spring Festival. Participants spread and synchronize info about their filial behavior to their friends and relatives through the so-called “Friends and Relatives Chain” . And those who meet the appropriate conditions will be rewarded New Year gift packages from Nao Bai Jin.
It is reported that Nao Bai Jin is developing a new business which relies on big data and artificial intelligence with Alibaba Health Information Technology Limited, a healthcare subsidiary of Alibaba Group. This kind of business is expected to hit the market in the near future.
Nao Bai Jin has enjoyed much success for the past decade due to a tagline: “I won’t accept any gifts for Chinese New Year this year; the only gift I’ll accept is Nao Bai Jin.” The herbal health drink is supposed to improve sleeping quality , but no-one is really sure if it actually does that. Still, it was once quite a popular gift in China, especially during Spring Festival.
Jumping on the white-hot blockchain sector seems a makeshift plan for Nao Bai Jin to boost its shrinking market share. But netizens on Weibo scoffed at the company’s move. They accused it of being a pyramid selling scheme, and it was hardly to imagine blockchain could be used on such a product.
Actually ,the marketing legend and a large investor behind Nao Bai Jin ,Shi Yuzhu, has always been bullish on blockchain and cryptocurrency . In last December, Giant Network, founded by Mr. Shi, has become the latest shareholder of Beijing Oukai Lianchuang Network Technology Co., Ltd , which is the only shareholder of OKCoin, holding 10% of the bitcoin exchange’s share.
On 9 September 2017, the storied investor first talked about Bitcoin to his 7.89 million followers:
“We should not demonize bitcoin. Something that we do not understand is not necessarily all bad things. If there is illegal conduct in the trading of Bitcoin then these illegal deal should be cracked down instead of total ban of bitcoin trading. Even if Chinese are not allowed to own bitcoin, foreigners will continue to hold it. Maybe in the future even a portion of some foreign exchange reserves will be distributed to bitcoin. The blockchain technology will bring profound changes in areas such as finance and everyone’s life. ”