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China’s VP Announces Plans to Accelerate the Development of Blockchain Technology

The ongoing 2020 Cloud Summit has seen a slew of important announcements. The latest news to come out of the conference was announced by Liu He, the Vice Premier of China. According to a report from the Xinhua news agency, the VP’s speech focused on promoting the development of new technologies. Virtual reality (VR) took the main stage during the conference, with most of the speakers staying true to the theme of the event, titled “VR makes the world more exciting – new opportunities for education, new openings.”

In his written speech, VP Liu noted that the development of VR technology was something Xi Jinping, the president of China, initiated two years ago, saying that the Chinese government should make use of VR technology to strengthen international cooperations and promote the development of related industries. This year’s conference, he explained, is an important measure to actually implement the president’s vision. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has struck China the hardest earlier this year has accelerated the development of what Liu calls a “contactless economy.” This means that the tech industry dove headfirst into developing technologies that provide better safety, transparency, and trackability of both private and government-led services.

Virtual reality technology has been one of the fastest-growing industry segments in the Chinese province of Jiangxi—Liu noted that the VR industry in the region achieved an output value of 12 billion yuan in 2019, nearly three times larger than in 2018. This year, according to the VP, is expected to exceed 20 billion yuan. 

This is why both the central government and the government of Jiangxi plan on launching a coordinated effort to promote the development of other technologies alongside VR. These, according to the report published by Xinhua, include 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and industrial internet. Blockchain, as put by the VP, is also set to receive a major boost from the government.

Blockchain technology, which is already seeing massive pilot projects launched across China, is set to receive a special boost in the Jiangxi region, with the VP saying that both the private and the public sector should explore various application scenarios of the technology in key industries. Manufacturing, education, medical care, health care, culture and entertainment, commerce, and logistics could all see dedicated blockchain applications coming from the province. It remains unclear how the government plans on marrying the concept of VR with blockchain—Liu’s speech never mentioned any concrete plans laid out by the government and gave the impression that there was still a lot left to define.

“Major application scenarios are the prerequisites and conditions for the large-scale application of virtual reality technology. On the one hand, it is necessary to test the effect of VR technology and promote technology iteration by expanding application scenarios; on the other hand, it is necessary to create new demand for VR technology by expanding application scenarios,” he said in the speech.  

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