The Bank of China is partnering with Tencent, one of the country's biggest internet companies, to trial blockchain technology in financial applications.
The two firms announced the partnership last week, revealing the creation of a new joint research space for the development of new products. Artificial intelligence and blockchain are two major areas of research set to be explored, with the ultimate aim being to build a fintech cloud platform with reduced risk and gains in efficiency, according to local reports.
With the news, the Bank of China joins other major state-owned commercial banks that have recently announced partnerships focused on fintech and blockchain with major private sector firms.
Earlier this month, the Agriculture Bank of China announced a partnership with search giant Baidu, while the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China launched a similar initiative with e-commerce company JD.com. And, in March, China Construction Bank kicked off a technology research projected with Alibaba Group.
The research initiative further signals growing interest in blockchain within China's private sector, wherein supply chain management has emerged as a significant use case.
Insurance group ZhongAn, for example, plans to harness the technology to track the provenance of poultry shipments, while Walmart, IBM and Beijing's Tsinghua University jointly launched a similar effort last autumn focused on pork deliveries.
Bank of China image via Tomasz Bidermann/Shutterstock