Xiongan New Area Master Plan Underscores Blockchains’ Opportunity
China published the master plan document for Xiong’an New Area in North China’s Hebei Province on April 21, mapping out the area’s future by 2035 and listing overall development goals for the new area, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
The document underscores the importance role of cutting-edge technologies like blockchain playing in the construction and operation of the newest state-level economic zone southwest of Beijing.
Local authorities should “adopt a forward-thinking approach to planning for the development and trials of blockchain,terahertz, and cognitive computing.” The document says.
This initiative marks Chinese authorities’ latest effort to build the new area into a blockchain hub in China, and this area has the potential to become a a premium destination for “blockchain gold rush”.
In March, the Hebei provincial government released a guideline to promote the industrial transformation and upgrade of Xiongan New Area, highlighting that the new area should actively nurture future industries, such as blockchain, future network,and graphene to create a world-class high-tech industrial clusters.
Xiongan Jumps on the Blockchain Bandwagon
In fact, the Xiongan New Area—-another new area of “national significance” following the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Shanghai Pudong New Area—-takes a lead in rolling out blockchain-based services in China.
The state-level district launched the country’s first blockchain-based home rental platform in February of this year. Alibaba’s payment arm Ant Financial is a big contributor for this platform which allows renters and landlords to check the authenticity of each other and to protect themselves from cons.
On April 2o, an Ant Financial-affiliated company, dubbd Ant Xiongan Digital Technology Co., Ltd. signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Xiongan Branch of Bank of China, to carry out in-depth cooperation on blockchain-based home rental projects. The two parties will provide financial services for rental parties and contribute to the development of house leasing in this new area.
In addition, Xiongan also applies blockchain technology to its municipal services, including city management and security protection.
With the aim to forge the Xiongan New Area into a green city, local authorities plan to plant trees across 100,000 mu of land throughout 2018. The project uses blockchain technology to manage the finance.Through the direct connection between banks and enterprises, the payment for construction projects and labor services will be completed on the blockchain to ensure that funds are used for specified purposes only.
“Blockchain Gold Rush” in Xiongan
According to Qichacha, a site tracking business registration information, three blockchain companies have registered in the three counties—-Anxin, Rongcheng and Xiong—–comprising Xiongan New Area. The three companies are Anxin County Blockchain Network Technology Co., Ltd. ,Baidu Xiong’an. Technology Co., Ltd. and Inspur Xiong’an Yunlian Technology Co., Ltd.
The latter two are subsidiaries of the internet search giant Baidu and Inspur, China’s largest server maker, respectively which are registered in Rongcheng county of Xiongan. But it remains unknown how these two tech giants will push forward their blockchain business in the new area.
Xiong’an, which is positioned as a hub for technological innovation, has been home to several affiliates of China’s established tech firms such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com (BATJ) , 360, and iFlytek Co Ltd. Xiongan authorities also provide preferential policies for newly registered technology companies.
In this sense, the Xiongan New Area, launched in April last year by President Xi Jinping and part of a state-driven campaign to integrate the economy of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, boasts huge potential to become the blockchain hub in China and more blockchain companies will take root in the new area in the near future.