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China to Launch Nationwide Blockchain Service Network Supported by China UnionPay and China Mobile

On October 15, China State Information Center, China Mobile Communications Group (CMCC) and China UnionPay have jointly announced the formal test of blockchain service network (BSN).

BSN is a nationwide blockchain service infrastructure platform featuring cross-public network, cross-region and cross-institution in China. It is top-level planned by State Information Center – a Chinese government policy-making think tank, and independently developed and successfully put into practice by the world’s biggest card issuer China UnionPay and leading telecommunications operator China Mobile by leveraging the relevant blockchain technology and existing network resources and data centers.

Zhang Xueying, deputy director in China State Information Center, said that the establishment of Blockchain Service Network would effectively lower the technical and economic threshold of blockchain application.

“As a public infrastructure network, the Blockchain Service Network is featured by security, controllable supervision, openness, inclusiveness and sustainability, etc. With the gradual adaptation of BSN to cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, Internet of things and artificial intelligence, it will provide reliable and scalable infrastructure service support for China’s smart city construction and digital economy development.”

Li Huidi, vice president of China Mobile, said in his speech that blockchain technology represents the trend of the new-gen Internet. Currently, there is no consensus and common use of blockchain infrastructure in the domestic blockchain industry.

“The industry is clamoring for an underlying infrastructure supported by blockchain that all parties agree on. Relying on our network resources and operational experience, China Mobile will accelerate the construction of the Blockchain Service Network.”

Shi Wenchao, president of China UnionPay, said that the move is to promote the development of the blockchain industry and to create a blockchain application demonstration, as well as inspire blockchain innovation vitality. UnionPay is accelerating its transformation into a tech company and a data company.

“UnionPay will take this opportunity to explore a new business cooperation model jointly with commercial banks, financial institutions and other market entities.”

Blockchain, the underlying technology in bitcoin-like cryptocurrency, has become one of the hottest innovations in the financial services sphere. Technology companies and banks have been exploring the use of blockchain in all facets of both the financial and non-financial industries. In 2018, a line of Chinese banks jointly launched a blockchain-based forfaiting trading platform which had processed more than 20 billion yuan (roughly $2.8 billion) as of this September.

Despite its stringent stance on cryptocurrency, China is becoming a blockchain juggernaut. By the estimates of Beijing-based data service provider Blockdata (in an April report), China is leading the world with 263 blockchain projects – 25% of the total globally – in the pipeline as of November 2018. Beijing-based think tank EO Intelligence identified 615 blockchain firms in China, half of them are deploying blockchain in the finance sector. At the same time, China also leads the world in blockchain patent, with 790, according to data compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

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