China has begun the process to establish a national standard for blockchain and is expected to have the new system completed by the end of 2019, according to Chinese state media reports.
Li Ming, the director of the Blockchain Research Office of the Electronic Industry Standards Research Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in an interview with a reporter from China’s Economic Information Daily that a Chinese national standard plan for blockchain has been planned and related departments will also set up a national blockchain and distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee.
According to Ming, the blockchain national standards will include basic standards, business and application standards, process and method standards, credible and interoperable standards, and information security standards
Yu Kequn, the director of the National Center for Information Technology Security Research, said at the 2018 Blockchain Security Summit that, “The development of blockchain technology may become an important step for China to grasp the global technological competition.” He said that blockchain technologies would lead to rapid new technological innovations and new industry developments.
Yu also pointed out that blockchain technology is a new integrated application that includes distributed data storage, peer-to-peer transmission, consensus mechanisms, and encryption algorithms. It has the characteristics of decentralization, openness, tamper resistance, and anonymity. "It can be applied in the production chain, management chain, and transaction chain, and it will bring the entire life cycle of restructuring to different areas, so that the life cycle can be managed and traceable."
China’s biggest technology companies, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent have already begun to develop blockchain applications. Alibaba has partnered with PwC to develop blockchain application to create a transparent traceable cross-border food supply chain. Baidu’s financial services unit and other financial institutions have jointly issued blockchain-supported asset-backed security projects and Tencent has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing to develop blockchain logistics applications.
China’s biggest banks including the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and others have also started to develop and use blockchain applications for e-commerce supply chains, housing leasing platforms, international trade and poverty alleviation,
In its annual report, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China said that it is actively exploring application scenarios that utilize artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the IoT (internet of things) technologies to promote the transparent management of construction funds and that it is developing “test projects” with the government to validate its software systems.
An IBM 2016 report predicted that 14% of financial market institutions and 15% of banks would adopt blockchain technology by the end of 2017. With the development and expansion of blockchain technology commercial solutions, IBM estimates that 65% of banks will adopt blockchain technology within three years.
2018 is expected to be a “development year” for many companies involved in the development of blockchain technologies and its anticipated that applications in many new industries will begin tests. Some of the industries beyond finance that will see multiple applications launched include advertising & marketing, energy, food products, healthcare, insurance, supply chain management, real estate and the travel industry.
With China being the largest country in the world, applications that are developed by Chinese companies will also have an impact on companies and industries across the world. With heightened trade tensions between China and the USA, the Chinese government and Chinese technology companies will increase the speed of development in order to make sure that Chinese companies are not reliant on technologies from the USA and other countries.