China’s top-level internet censorship agency has unveiled the first round of firms that were successful in their applications to begin their blockchain-related services in the country.
Besides start-up companies, the affiliates of technology giants such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent appeared in the list of firms exploring blockchain’s potential uses, which included a total of 197 businesses. Their blockchain-related initiatives with the names like Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE), Alibaba Cloud Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), Tencent BaaS (TBaaS) and the BaaS platform owned by JD.com were among the companies featured in the list.
For instance, Baidu’s crypto product is called ‘Super Chain’ and is compatible with Bitcoin and Ethereum mining operations. The local equivalent of Google has been in the limelight for being one of prosperous IT companies originating from China.
According to the listing issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China – the country’s central internet regulator – logistics, government and medical services are areas that their providers obtained the largest number of approvals. The authorized companies are not allowed to use the blockchain technology for any commercial purpose.
Earlier this year, China‘s regulators approved a set of regulation for blockchain service providers in the country which came into effect by the middle of February.
China Favors Blockchain over Cryptocurrency
With the rules set in place, companies that do not comply would be initially issued a warning and the failure to act within the specified timeline would result in a fine, the range of which depends on the severity of the offence.
In addition, law enforcement must be able to access data posted on the blockchain when necessary, while providers must keep records about transactions and other relevant information and report illegal use to authorities.
China previously declared war against cryptocurrencies, prohibiting initial coin offerings and clamping down on its promoters. But China’s raid on the virtual asset class, which started in September 2017, failed to dampen local investors’ enthusiasm, as many have resorted to other channels to get around the crackdown.
Despite such reservations, the government supported the underlying blockchain technology to revolutionize economic sectors and even included the technology in its roadmap for the nation’s development by 2020.