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China selects pilot zones to take part in blockchain trials

The initiative will involve 164 entities including hospitals, universities and companies

China has selected 15 pilot zones and 164 entities in various industries to carry out blockchain pilot projects across the country.

The pilot zones include areas in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing, as well as Guangzhou and Chengdu, according to a notice posted on the Central Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)’s website.

164 entities, including hospitals, universities, and companies like the Commercial Bank of China and Beijing Gas Group, have been selected to carry out the blockchain pilot projects. These entities will conduct projects in fields including manufacturing, energy, tax, law, government and finance.

The CAC stated that the regions should attach great importance to the national blockchain innovation application pilot work and ensure it’s promoted. It said that the pilot should explore the full role of the blockchain in promoting data sharing, optimising business processes, reducing operating costs, improving collaboration efficiency, and building a credible system.

Provincial-level cyberspace administrators and industry supervisory departments will be in charge of guiding, coordinating, and promoting the layout of blockchain technology infrastructure in the region. 

The notice added that all pilot regions should give priority to adopting blockchain software and hardware technologies that are interoperable and capable of sustainable development. They should also guide blockchain applications to develop their value, scale, and industrialisation. Pilot regions will be encouraged to carry out in-depth cooperation with research institutions, companies, and experts too.

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The CAC, national and provincial industry supervisory authorities will help pilots to connect to experts to provide guidance on the planning and construction of the pilot, training exchanges, and creating blockchain standards.

The statement was jointly published by 16 governmental bodies, including the ministry of industry and information technology, the central bank, the state administration of taxation, and the National Energy Administration.

China is promoting blockchain technology despite having banned bitcoin and cracked down on cryptocurrencies. In May, the country targeted cryptocurrency mining as well as exchange platforms. Miners and platforms were forced to suspend operations and came after other measures were proposed like banning banks and financial institutions from providing cryptocurrency-related services.

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