Vaccine Blockchain Plan Prompts Enquiries Amid China Pharma Scandal

Following China's pharma scandal, investors are buying a firm's claim to be developing a vaccine-tracking blockchain, but one regulator isn't happy.

Jul 26, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:13 a.m. UTC

On the back of China's most recent pharmaceutical scandal, stock investors are buying into a public company's claim to be developing a blockchain for tracking vaccines – but one watchdog isn't happy about it.

As reported by CoinDesk earlier this week, following a vaccine data scandal exposed last weekend, the Chinese crypto community weighed in with the argument that blockchain could be a potential solution for monitoring the vaccine supply chain.

After the scandal broke, YLZ Info, a software company listed on China's Shenzhen Stock Exchange, announced that it is now planning to work with Alibaba payment affiliate Ant Financial to create a blockchain for just that purpose.

The claim followed a previous announcement made by the company in March indicating it was cooperating with Ant Financial on technological development in areas that include blockchain.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, YLZ's claim on Monday to be planning a specific vaccine blockchain project appears to have prompted keen interest from stock investors in the country.

Since the announcement, the company's stock price has surged by 10 percent on each of the past three days, recording a significant total spike of as much as a 50 percent and reaching an upper limit imposed by market regulators in China.

Given the stock surge, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange – which has the remit to regulate public firms to comply with securities law in China – sent an enquiry to the company on Wednesday night, demanding that YLZ deliver substantial proof of its capacity and resources in R&D of blockchain technology by Friday.

The exchange further demanded details regarding the firm's collaboration with Ant Financial on the topic – effectively asking whether the company is actually partnering to work on the vaccine project or merely harnessing blockchain hype in conjunction with a public crisis to juice up its stock price.

Vaccine image via Shutterstock

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