The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has revealed that it intends to focus on developing blockchain technology.
This is a major development in terms of China’s push to integrate blockchain technology into financial systems as the ICBC is the country’s largest banking institution with over 5,000 corporate and 530 million personal customers.
The bank’s chairman Yi Huiman has indicated that the ICBC will focus on “intelligent banking” and “accelerated deployment in the field of financial technologies”, as it moves forward. This includes cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and Internet of Things (IoT).
China’s government has publicly expressed that it is in favor of blockchain technology, with comments made at the highest level that it plans to integrate it wherever possible. This commitment doesn’t extend to cryptocurrency, which it continues to publicly admonish and prohibit at every opportunity, both at government level and in the state-run media.
In August the government released its guide entitled ‘Blockchain – A guide for Officials’, which covers many facets of the nascent technology offering counsel to government officials. In an excerpt from the book in the chapter ‘From Internet Thinking to Blockchain Thinking’, Ye Hao, president of People’s Network writes:
“We call on the industry peers to continue to look at the blockchain technology with a development perspective. Looking at the blockchain label from a scientific perspective, look at the blockchain industry with a strategic eye, look at the blockchain business opportunities with a calm eye, promote the sustainable and healthy development of the blockchain industry.”
Such opportunities are being seized almost weekly in China, with fresh developments utilizing DLT such as projects targeting the State Aerospace Industry, updating its electronic invoicing using the tech. In Sichuan Province just last week, a new blockchain company has been formed to target “forestry economic development and industrial poverty alleviation”.
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