Beijing: Matching up the pace with the country’s vision to dominate the emerging blockchain technology sector, Alibaba Group Holding has filed more than 10 per cent of all blockchain patents worldwide in 2017.
According to the report of Thomson Reuters, out of all 406 blockchain patents issued around the world in 2017, 56 per cent came from China whereas 22 per cent came from the United States.
The race for the intellectual property rights has gone intense as there is a significant increase in the blockchain filings in 2017 as compared to 2016. In 2016 the total number of blockchain patents filed were 134 whereas it went up to 406 in 2017. China is undoubtedly ahead in this race.
As per the reports of the Nikkei Asia Review, out of the total 406 blockchain patents issues in 2017, 43 were filed by Alibaba whereas other Chinese tech companies like Tencent and Baidu have also joined in the race and dominating significantly in the list of blockchain patent owners.
Despite, the fact that the numbers of blockchain patents filed by the Chinese tech giants were high in numbers in 2017, the US still is ahead of China in terms of an overall number of blockchain patents filed. However, China is swiftly filling up the gap as it is leading on an annual level.
China Skeptical About Cryptocurrency but Readily Accepting Blockchain
There is an atmosphere of regulatory opposition to cryptocurrencies and ICOs in China as it has imposed a total ban on all crypto trading and ICO fundraising earlier this year. In order to enforce restrictions, there were supplementary bans and online purges after the blanket ban.
However, the authorities are readily accepting the blockchain technology. Notably, Xi Jinping, President of China has described the blockchain technology as one of the technologies of the new generation which is ‘substantially reshaping the global economic structure’.
Explaining the desperation of China to strengthen its hold in the blockchain technology IP contest, John Eastwood, Eiger Law partner and Taiwan-based IP specialist told Nikkei Asian Review, “Blockchain is a new technological landscape where it could be very profitable for Chinese companies to grab significant territory in their patent claim language. Holding several patents helps to give an aura of legitimacy that helps many companies in the blockchain field to attract investors or acquirers.”
Blockchain Partnership for Curbing Fraud
As per the reports of local Chinese media, a partnership was formed between Alibaba subsidiary companies Ant Financial and Alipay and Wuchang municipal government in northeastern Heilongjiang Province of China. The partnership is aimed to control the food fraud and ensuring consumer trust.
Wuchang is known for its high-quality rice but recently the consumer trust has declined and livelihoods of the farmer have also been damaged due to increasing incidents of frauds. Under the partnership, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) tracking solution will work together to ensure that every pack of Wuchang rice which gets sold on Alibaba’s Tmall platform will have a supply chain visible to the consumer through a QR code.
Apart from this, Alibaba is also in partnership with PwC and the postal services in Australia and New Zealand on anti-food fraud projects. Not only in the food sector, the company is also looking forward to placing its foot in healthcare space by entering into the partnership with the eastern Chinese city of Changzhou to store medical data on a blockchain. In this process, the authorized health personnel will have an instant access to patients’ complete medical history.