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Tencent CEO Calls For Blockchain Legislation at China’s Two Sessions

Blockchain becomes a surprisingly hot topic at China’s annual parliament gathering this year.

Pony Ma Huateng, chairman of tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), called on NPC’s Standing Committee to pay close attention to the legislation of burgeoning sectors such as “blockchain” and to start related research and investigation as soon as possible on Monday.

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“Blockchain is a good technology, but is still in its infancy. And as more and more new forms of economy and new technologies are popping up,lawmakers are required to work on new legislation to regulate and provide guidance for them.” Ma said at the Guangdong delegation meeting of NPC.

He added that Tencent has been exploring various blockchain-based application scenarios, including supply chain finance, philanthropy, legal affairs and logistics.

Although Ma is optimistic about blockchain’s potential, he remained cautious about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), and believed that the key to boost the growth of blockchain industry is to divert public attention away from cryptocurrencies. Ma has taken Wanda’s Wang Jianlin as Asia’s richest man with a fortune of $US47 billion ,according to Forbes.

“If everyone feels free to issues his own cryptocurrency, it will create big challenges for regulators. For now, although cryptocurrency is very hot, we have no plan to step into such business and have not considered launching our own tokens because it is a huge risk.” Ma said at a media briefing on March 3.

Besides, James Mitchell, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of Tencent, also said in early March that the company “will not invest in bitcoin because it has no intrinsic value”.

Tencent’s words match its actions. It tapped into blockchain research as early as 2016, and published a white paper on Blockchain Solution last April. In late 2017, Tencent blockchain passed the credible blockchain evaluation of China’s ICT institute and launched a BaaS(blockchain as a service) platform.

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