by Cindy Huynh
A number of reputable Australian blockchain startups including Beam, AgriDigital, and Labrys, are currently visiting Shanghai to work on a trade mission led by Austrade and the Australian Digital Commerce. According to an article released on September 10, 2018, the Australian blockchain startups are in China to deepen their connection and links to China’s largest fintech companies and attend the Wangxiang 4th Global Blockchain Summit.
Australian Start-ups Gain Insight into China
The Financial Review reported that the startups were able to better grasp China’s ambition and role in the emerging technological landscape, and how the country will be a key player in the new internet of value.
While the Chinese Government cracked down on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September 2017, they are however bullish when it comes to blockchain technologies.
According to Forbes, China currently ranks first in the world when it comes to patent applications from areas of emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). As seen in a Startup Genome’s 2018 report, China had three times as many blockchain-related patents in 2017 compared to the U.S.
According to iPRDaily, a media company that specializes in intellectual property, in 2018, Ant Financial’s parent company Alibaba lodged 90 patent blockchain-related applications with Tencent and Ping An Insurance closely following behind. While some of these technologies are being researched, many are still being tested and piloted.
Tencent, for its part, is testing a WeChat service that uses blockchain technology to fasten the process of reimbursing corporate employees’ expenses, while JD.com, a large e-commerce company in China, has launched a blockchain-as-a-service (Baas) platform to follow any corporate invoices.
On the other hand, many of the blockchain-related pilots in Australia are moving at significantly slower rates. While the Australian Financial Review noted that the ASX’s project to replace the existing CHESS equities clearing and settlement system with a blockchain system may be an exception, the ASX recently announced that they would be delaying their blockchain rollover by another six months.
China Sees Australia as a Trustworthy Leader
Although China is ahead of Australia in regards to the blockchain revolution, the Asian nation is paying significant attention to Australia’s role as the Chair of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) group, which is responsible for developing standards for the blockchain industry.
China currently sees Australia as a more trustworthy leader in the blockchain sector than the United States or Russia who also expressed interest in running the group.
“Australia’s leadership in this global work being done to develop a global blockchain standard is respected by China, and there is an enormous amount of interest in how that will work,” said Philippa Ryan, a barrister and senior lecturer in UTS law school to the Financial Review.
“They appreciate it is Australia doing the work and know they can work with us and will do it in a trusted way.”