Chinese government partners with Tencent on blockchain security

June 22, 2018
Chris Wheal

China’s government is teaming up with one of the country’s tech giants, Tencent, to strengthen blockchain security and eliminate illegal online activities.

Chinese tech giant Tencent

Tencent will be a founding member of the China Blockchain Security Alliance: Shutterstock

Tencent’s vice president, Bin Ma, announced the formation of the China Blockchain Security Alliance at the China Blockchain Security Forum in Beijing on Thursday, according to a report from the state-owned media outlet ChinaNews. The event was hosted by the government-backed China Technology Market Association (CTMA).

The aim of the new alliance will be to unite organisations in protecting “the healthy development of the blockchain industry,” according to the report. Its members will include Tencent affiliate Tencent Security, CTMA, the China Blockchain Application Research Center and more than 20 public and private institutions comprising government advisory agencies, network security firms and blockchain-related organisations.

They will work to establish long-term mechanisms for the secure development of China’s blockchain ecosystem, while also cracking down on illicit activities that exploit blockchain, such as pyramid schemes and fraud.

Rising crime wave

As ChinaNews noted the conference took place against a background of increasing blockchain and crypto-related crime in China.

Online pyramid schemes and other crypto-related crime has been on the rise in China

Online pyramid schemes and other crypto-related crime has been on the rise in China: Shutterstock

In April, state-run media outlet Xinhua reported that police had arrested four men in the north-western city of Xi’an, who were alleged to have lured more than 13,000 investors to an crypto pyramid scheme and defrauded them of up to renminbi (RMB) 86 million – equivalent to $13 million.

While China has proved hostile to cryptocurrencies, blockchain plays prominent part of its technological innovation policy. President Xi Jinping referenced it as an example of a “new generation” of technologies that are “reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure.”

Central bank the People’s Bank of China (PBC) has developed a blockchain system to digitise paper cheques, while China’s Ant International, which operates payment network Alipay, this month announced “definitive agreements” to secure funding of $14 billion to invest in blockchain, security and related technological innovation.

 

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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