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Presidents Jinping, Macron First to Taste Blockchain-Verified Beef

Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron were among the first set of people to be served and taste beef that were authenticated by blockchain at the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

On Tuesday November 5, President Macron let President Jinping taste the premium French Limousin Label Rouge Beef which has been reportedly imported and fully verified on the VeChainThor public blockchain having had to go over five separate upload points using the first cross-continental logistics and trades solution by Foodgates. The beef product was tracked all through its journey from Sicavyl Abattoirs in France, keeping below -18°C on route to China, to the final plate in China where the two presidents ate.

This supply chain, traceability and transparency solution was made possible as three companies – DNV GL, Singapore-based VeChain Tech and ASI Group logistics – formed a tripartite collaboration to launch the first public French-Chinese blockchain-enabled platform to assure food safety and quality. It is the first time a public blockchain is recorded to be used in the food and beverage industry to verify and certify information about the full cycle of a product – like a cow – including how it is tracked from selection, to slaughtering, packing, cross-continental shipping and distribution to restaurants.

In the wake of the US-China trade war in which both large economies have yet to remove the tariffs imposed on their exports, this initiative demonstrates how other countries could be easily co-opted into an international agricultural trade arrangement. With Jinping’s endorsement of the blockchain technology, coupled with its global economic reach, such trades could evolve at China’s speed even as the Asian giant is already the seventh largest trading partner of France with French goods worth $24.5 bln imported in 2018.

Improving on this trade window shouldn’t be hard as it is no longer news that the Chinese president is optimistic about the blockchain technology and the news that France, on the other hand, has made an unprecedented move recently with the country reportedly including Bitcoin blockchain study in their school curriculum has gained more media coverage.
Partnerships like this will turn out as transformative in the future for the entire crypto space even as it helps strengthen the resolve of blockchain technology proponents.

Relatedly, CGTN reports that China’s industry pioneers are now exploring the practical ways the blockchain technology can benefit real economy. It cites projects like JD Digits using blockchain to authenticate products, Ant Financial’s “charity on chain” and Tencent’s blockchain e-invoices.

The blockchain-based invoicing in Shenzhen has reportedly seen the local taxation bureau issued already over 10 million invoices and deployed for over 7,500 companies like China Merchants Bank, Walmart, WeChat Pay, Shenzhen Pingan Bank Co., Ltd and processed over 7 bln yuan (or $994 mln) since its launch in August 2018.

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