Ripple Confirms China Expansion Plans, Shoots Down Alibaba Rumor

Michael del Castillo
Aug 15, 2017 at 16:45 UTC
NEWS

Ripple is opening up about its plans to enter one of the world's largest markets.

In new statements to CoinDesk, the San Francisco blockchain startup aimed to address rumors that first appeared last Thursday on XRP Chat, a forum dedicated to gossip and commentary on both the company and its technology.

In short – yes, the blockchain company is planning to set up operations in China, but no, it's not doing so with the help of one of the region's e-commerce giants.

Emi Yoshikawa, Ripple's director of joint venture partnership, told CoinDesk:

"China is a key market for a global payments network, which is why we are looking to build a presence there. Total cross-border [business-to-business] payment value involving China is $5 trillion annually, and the large Chinese e-commerce market currently lacks a highly efficient and low-cost solution."

Most recently, Ripple added 10 new financial institutions to its blockchain network, including MUFG in Japan, BBVA in Spain and SEB in Sweden, but membership by Chinese firms has so far been absent.

And it appears it will have to keep working on adding a big name from China to that impressive list of collaborators. Ripple also put to rest speculation that Alibaba was already running a validator node on the Ripple network.

Images in the post showed a node that appeared to be operating in Hangzhou, China, with an address linking it to Alibaba Advertising Co., Ltd.

This led some to believe the Chinese mammoth would help Ripple maneuver its way into the country, though a Ripple spokesperson said such an effort is not in the works:

"Alibaba (the company) is not running a validator."

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

China flag image via Shutterstock

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