New Blockchain Alliance for International Trade and Financing with Shanghai Authorities

Local Shanghai government has partnered up with financial institutions to establish an alliance in Shanghai’s E-port area to boost the use of blockchain for global trade.

At the China International Import Expo, which took place today on November 7th, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, Shanghai Customs, and representatives of 6 bank branches in the city — including the People’s Bank of China and Bank of Communications — have collectively signed an E-port blockchain alliance.

According to the announcement, this new alliance aims to make use of blockchain technology to help the city with its international trade. Prior to this, Chinese President has taken a strong stance for the blockchain technology and urged the country to take the lead role in the industry.

Chen Huifang, professor at the College of Information Science and Electronic Engineering of Zheijiang University, noted that decentralized and distributed accounting features, that promotes information sharing, will ultimately facilitate international as it will help improve the efficiency of customs clearance as well as reduce the cost.

Ye Jian – an official from the General Administration of Customs of Shanghai –  noted that the alliance serves as another move under China’s vow to optimize ist business environment.

“This is the first blockchain application project in customs and the first service project for the CIIE. China upholds multilateral trade and constantly improves its business environment by seeking technological innovation,” said Ye.

Shen Weihua, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, explained that blockchain technology has already been applied to several business areas that are involved in Shanghai’s international trade, which include digital insurance, digital supply chain, Internet of Things (IoT), and intelligent manufacturing.

He further added that blockchain technology has been successfully implemented in the newly launched cross-border yuan trade financing services for Shanghai’s single window system. The application helped solve information imbalance issues during the process of trade financing.

According to him, the city’s “single window” services platform integrates to date 10 major functions, with 22 departments covering all regulations and major procedures in international trade.

Previous reports show that a pilot blockchain system was also trialed for cross-border financial services in Nanning, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, this October.

Qi Hong, vice director of China Construction Bank’s Shanghai branch, emphasized to reporters that the technology remains in its early experimental phase in the country, outlining that:

“We now use blockchain in sporadic financial products instead of the whole finance industry chain, and the public doesn’t have a sound understanding of the technology when it comes to financing. But I think the government’s call for blockchain construction will help push the technology’s application in a more comprehensive way.” 

Meanwhile, China’s President Xi Jinping has recently stated that the adoption of integrated blockchain technologies is pivotal to promoting tech innovation and industry transformation in the country. He urged the country to accelerate blockchain adoption and assume the role of leadership in the industry.

Several from the crypto industry speculated that it was the President’s speech that triggered the spike in the price of Bitcoin (BTC). Currently, The People’s Bank of China is working on launching the first official digital currency soon.