Corporate Blockchains- China’s Crypto Giants and Their Blockchain Innovations Overtime

Corporate Blockchains- China’s Crypto Giants and Their Blockchain Innovations Overtime

When we first started, one of the most widely read piece was our post on China’s True Crypto Giants- Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba and JD. In the post, we highlighted that given the rising importance of these large tech conglomerates in China, and the increasing reliance on them by the Chinese government for monitoring and tracking citizens’ online footprints, large crypto innovations will likely be fostered by these large companies. To understand more about how China’s political and economic dynamics work from a macro point of view, be sure to checkout our book recommendations for a thorough understanding.

In light of the increasing corporate involvements in blockchain in the media such as Facebook, Square, while also seeing that Twitter and Apple are exploring blockchain use cases, we decided to revisit the blockchain innovations from the tech conglomerates in China.

While Facebook may have 50 people working on blockchain, its China social media counterpart, Tencent, has hundreds. Companies like Tencent and Alibaba have been involved with testing permissioned and permissionless blockchain technology since 2016, and how they’ve fared since starting is potentially telling of what the US large conglomerates may evolve into.

Below is a timeline highlighting the largest tech conglomerates in China that are involved in blockchain. We have created the most comprehensive timeline of these corporates’ involvement in blockchain that you can find in English.

We’ve also translated a chart from Odaily for a quic visual understanding of the blockchain application trends in the last year (see above). It’s interesting to see how conglomerates have shifted their blockchain focus overtime.

In 2016, many of the conglomerates were focusing on using blockchain to transform traditional finance, and overtime in the last year, the focus seems to be shifted to experimenting with gaming, building protocols, with some scattered focus around copyrights, and data preservation in the legal and health care industry.

Over the last number of years, we’ve monitored these large conglomerates and their blockchain developments. Quietly, these companies are building the forefront of China’s permission and permissionless blockchains in industries such as finance, gaming, supply chain, etc, and that could potentially extend to beyond China and spill into the rest of Asia and beyond.

Note: all the links highlighted below traces back to announcement sources and are mostly if not all in Chinese


Quick bio: Founded in 1999, Alibaba is a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet and technology. Notable and relevant blockchain related divisions include Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial arm; Alipay, Alibaba’selectronic payment services’ and Ali Cloud, the B2B cloud computing division of Alibaba.

2016.07 Ant Financial Service applies blockchain technology to Alipay’s Love Donation Platform, a philanthropy platform.

2016.10 Ali cooperates with Microsoft, Onchain and Fa Da Da in an alliance to develop a “legal chain”, for recording evidence and preserving data on the blockchain.

2017.03 Alibaba collaborates with the Australian Post, health company Blackmores and PricewaterhouseCoopers to trace the origins of food using blockchain technology.

2017.03 Based on the public welfare project launched in July 2016, Alipay’s Love Donation Platform introduces its blockchain technology and showcases all the donation data on the chain.

2017.08 Alibaba Health and the city of Jiangsu Changzhou cooperate to launch “Medical Link + Blockchain” pilot project.

2017.10 Ant Financial discloses its “BASIC” strategy, with which B corresponds to the blockchain, A for AI?S for Security, I for IoT and C for Cloud Computing.

2017.10 Ant Financial Technology Lab to explore blockchain technology for traceability of imported food to ensure food safety.

2017.11 Alibaba and Ant Financial announce to undertake the construction of China’s Xiong’an New District’s blockchain infrastructure.

2017.11 Alibaba’s Tmall International business announces the upgrade of its global traceability program, a supply chain traceability program, on the blockchain.

2018.01  China’s Xiong’an New District to build its rental application platform through Ant Financial’s blockchain.

2018.02 Alibaba’s Tmall International adopts blockchain technology to track the information of cross-border imported goods.

2018.07   Hong Kong’s version of Alipay, AlipayHK, launches online cross-border remittance service based on blockchain

2018.08 Alibaba Cloud introduces Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), which supports a one-click deployment of blockchain environment to realize blockchain application across enterprises. It will be used for supply chain traceability and supply chain finance, data asset transactions, digital content copyright protection and other fields.

2019.01 A new blockchain-powered platform, backed by Alipay’s blockchain technology, will deliver cross-border remittance service between Pakistan and Malaysia. 

2019.05 Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will integrate blockchain technology into its intellectual property system of global enterprises and brands.

2019.09 Bayer Crop Science has agreed to work with Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, to develop a blockchain-based system for agricultural product monitoring.

2020.03 Alibaba’s import e-commerce platform embraces ant blockchain traceability system to make consumer goods transparent and trackable.

2020.04 Alibaba offshoot Ant Financial launches SMB blockchain platform following enterprise move


Quick bio: Founded in 1998, Tencent is a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate, whose subsidiaries specialise in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology both in China and globally. Notable and relevant blockchain related divisions include Wechat and Wechat Pay.

2016.05 Tecent helps establish the Financial Blockchain Cooperation Alliance in Shenzhen.

2016.06 Tencent works with Weizhong Bank to develop a BaaS alliance chain.

2016.09 Weizhong Bank and Shanghai Huarui Bank announce the joint commissioning of a inter-bank joint loan clearing platform based on Tencent’s blockchain technology.

2017.01   Tencent Micro Gold platform officially launches, which enables individuals to transact gold in micro amounts on the blockchain.

2017.04 Tencent releases its blockchain whitepaper.

2017.04  Tencent releases “public interest trace chain”, which connects data of multiple data platforms to achieve information sharing among various public welfare platforms.

2017.06 Tencent collaborates with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on the Micro-Gold platform.

2017.06   Tencent and Bank of China jointly establishes the “Bank of China – Tencent Financial Technology Lab”.

2017.08   Tencent announces its own blockchain platform TrustSQL, which aims provide all the tools necessary for developing Blockchain applications for businesses.

2017.09 Tencent and Intel announces to cooperat on blockchain identity certification.

2017.10 Tencent joins the Canadian Blockchain Institute.

2017.11   Tencent Cloud releases Blockchain as a Service (Blockchain as a Service).

2018.01   Tencent registers the “Ether Lock” trademark.

2018.03   Tencent signs a strategic cooperation agreement with the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

2018.04 Tencent blockchain releases the first blockchain game “Catching Demons” (some of the features of the game are still being tested).

2018.04 Tencent announces “Tencent Blockchain + Supply Chain Financial Solution.”

2018.05   Tencent sets up a Tax Innovation laboratory to improve the tax management services technology for better data tracking, intelligent applications, credit support, mobile internet, and risk-management.

2018.05   At the 2018 China “Internet +” Digital Economy Summit, Tencent says that it is using blockchain technology to work with hospitals to create prescriptions and is considering promoting this technology externally.

2018.06   Tencent launches its mini app- “Financial Risk Inquiry Reporting Center”. The mini-app mainly exposes pyramid schemes and virtual currency pyramid schemes.

2019.04 China’s Tencent to Develop Blockchain Medical Tools With Waterdrop After Investment

2019.11 Tencent plans to launch digital blockchain bank

2019.12 Tencent, is planning to create a digital currency research group to further advance blockchain research projects.

2020.04 Tencent, Huawei, and Baidu are among the companies that will comprise a new committee tasked with setting up national standards for blockchain and distributed ledger technology


Quick Bio: Incorporated in 2000, Baidu has the 2nd largest search engine in the world, and holds a 77% market share in China’s search engine market.

2017.05 Baidu Finance along with Huaneng Trust and other partners jointly issues an asset-backed securit on a blockchain. This ABS has been approved by the Shanghai Stock Exchange, with a total issued size of 400 million yuan.

2017.09  Baidu reveals the “Baidu-Chang’an Xinsheng-Tianfeng 2017 First Asset Support Special Plan”, showcasing the first exchange-based ABS based on blockchain technology in China.

2017.10   Baidu Finance officially joins the Hyperledger open source project and becomes a member of the board.

2018.01 Baidu launches an open platform BaaS, which mainly helps enterprise alliances to build their own blockchain network platform.

2018.02   Baidu launches “Baidu Leitz Dog”, a copycat of Cryptokitties.

2018.04 Baidu launches an image copyright application called “Baidu Totem” using blockchain technology, which generates copyright for each original image.

2018.04   Baidu, Softbank Ventures Korea and former LINE executives team up to launch a centralized social networking protocol TTC Protocol, which aims to reward users who generate, distribute, and interact with social content.

2018.05   Baidu Encyclopedia has been transferred onto the blockchain, and each edit on the Encyclopedia is confirmed through timestamps and hash algorithm.

2018.06 Baidu releases blockchaingame “Universe”.

2019.02 Chinese search engine giant Baidu has launched its Baidu Blockchain Engine, an operating system designed to facilitate DApp development.

2019.05 Baidu launches Blockchain as a Service platform

2019.08 Baidu launches health blockchain

2020.01 Baidu launched on Monday a blockchain-based service for developers and small and medium-sized businesses to build decentralized applications, or dapps.

Jingdong (also known as

Quick bio: is a Chinese e-commerce company, and the world’s leading company in high tech and AI delivery through drones, autonomous technology and robots, and possesses the largest drone delivery system, infrastructure and capability in the world. 

2016.05 Jingdong Finance joins China’s “Financial Blockchain Cooperation Alliance”.

2017.06  JD announces the establishment of the “Jingdong Quality Traceability Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance”.

2017.12 JD establishes China’s first safety food blockchain traceability alliance.

2018.02   JD Logistics officially joins the Global Blockchain Freight Alliance (BiTA).

2018.03 JD launches the “AI Catapult Accelerator” (AICA) to support startup companies to apply blockchain technology.

2018.03 JD releases “Jingdong Blockchain White Paper (March 2018)”.

2018.03   JD Finance and nearly 30 commercial banks jointly establish the “Commercial Bank Retail Credit Union”.

2018.04 Public company BOE reveals that JD is building a cross-border e-commerce platform using blockchain technology to achieve “full traceability”.

2018.05 JD releases blockchain mini app “Hash Manor”, but has since taken it offline.

2017.06 JD establishes an alliance with involved parties participating in the upgrade of its ABS cloud platform.

2018.06 JD Cloud and Huobi China reaches strategic cooperation on the research and development of the blockchain technology and application.

2018.07   Jingdong “Smart Life” mini-app officially launched WeChat, using blockchain technology to trace the delivery process of purchased items.

2019.04 has announced the opening of JD Chain to businesses, providing them with access to a state-of-the-art underlying blockchain framework. 

2019.05 has reportedly applied for over 200 blockchain patents. 

2019.07 is in­te­grat­ing its blockchain and cloud com­put­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties via a col­lab­o­ra­tive arrange­ment be­tween two key sub­sidiaries. 


Quick bio:  Xunlei is a Chinese multinational technology company and an online service provider founded in 2003. It’s main products developed by Xunlei Limited is the Xunlei download manager and Peer-to-peer software, supporting HTTP, FTP, eDonkey, and BitTorrent protocols

2018.04 Xunlei Chain officially launches,CEO Chen Lei said that copyright protection will be the first of its application

2018.05  Xunlei releases the open-source Xunlei “Thunder” chain.

2018.07   Xunlei releases its self-developed Xunlei “Thunder” Chain File System (TCFS).

2018.07   Xunlei officially joins the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project.


Quick bio: Xiaomi is a Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing. Xiaomi makes and invests in smartphones, mobile apps, laptops, and related consumer electronics.

2018.03 Xiaomi launches the blockchain game “Encrypt Rabbit”.

2018.04 Xiaomi launches the Xiaomi WiFi chain, a small gaming application based on blockchain.

2018.07   Xiaomi introduces “rice grain” as cryptocurrency on blockchain to reward Xiaomi users. The “rice grain” can be used for consumption and exchange. Users can log in daily, share its WiFi network, connect to new IoT (Internet of Things) devices, experience Xiaomi products, invite friends. to get “rice”.


Quick Bio: Netease is Chinese Internet technology company providing online services centered on content, community, communications and commerce.  The company develops and operates online PC and mobile games, advertising services, email services and e-commerce platforms in China.

2018.02   Netease Finance launches “Netease Planet”, a blockchain-based social network and virtual gaming app.

2018.04   “Netease Planet” adds mining functioninto app.

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