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China’s Alibaba Partners With Chinese Software Giant to Promote Blockchain Development

Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba will promote blockchain tech development with Aerospace Information Co.

Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba and Aerospace Information Co., a major software developer and provider, have signed a strategic cooperation agreement for cloud computing, blockchain and other technological services development. Chinese finance publication Securities Daily reported on the deal on March 21.

The two parties have agreed to take advantage of their respective brand technologies “to actively integrate resources and carry out in-depth cooperation” in in the fields of cloud computing services, finance and taxation, government affairs and blockchain technology, among others.

As the publication states, Aerospace Information will collaborate with Alibaba to work together in research and development in order to promote the integration of new technologies. It also adds:

“In the field of blockchain, we will jointly provide cloud solutions to promote the development of the blockchain industry.”

Earlier this month, vice president of Alibaba Group Liu Song revealed in an interview the company’s plans to implement blockchain technology for cross-border supply chains, with the possibility to link the ecosystem with local governments, as Cointelegraph reported on March 7.

Back in October, Alibaba had filed a patent application for a system backed with blockchain allowing for third-party administrative intervenience in a smart contract.

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Crypto Startup Behind Alibabacoin Agrees to Stop Using ‘Alibaba’ Name After Legal Action

Dubai-based crypto firm ABBC Foundation agreed to stop using name “Alibaba” after legal action by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Dubai-based crypto firm ABBC Foundation has agreed to stop using the name “Alibaba” for its cryptocurrency after legal action by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Reuters reported on March 11.

The decision from ABBC Foundation is reportedly part of a settlement of an almost year-long lawsuit brought by Alibaba against the crypto startup.

ABBC Foundation, previously also known as Alibabacoin Foundation, reportedly said that it regretted confusion caused by its former use of the name “Alibabacoin” for its firm and cryptocurrency. Per the report, the company’s coin will now be called ABBC coin.

As Cointelegraph reported in April last year, Alibaba had previously sued the company for copyright infringement after the latter’s initial coin offering (ICO) initially raised $3.5 million.

Later, in May 2018, a United States court ruled against Alibaba’s request for an injunction against the startup. However, despite the setback, in October last year, Alibaba won a preliminary injunction against ABBC Foundation (at the time Alibabacoin Foundation) in a lawsuit over the misleading use of Alibaba in their name in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Recently, Liu Song, Alibaba’s vice president, said in an interview that the company is considering blockchain tech implementation for cross-border supply chains.

In January, news broke that the Pakistan-based subsidiary of global telecommunications giant Telenor had launched a cross-border remittance service powered by the blockchain system of Alibaba’s payment subsidiary, Alipay.

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Alibaba Exec: E-Commerce Giant Considering Blockchain Use in Complex Supply Chains

Chinese e-commerce giant conglomerate Alibaba Group is considering blockchain tech application for cross-border supply chains.

Liu Song, vice president of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has said in an interview that the company is considering blockchain tech implementation for cross-border  supply chains. Song’s remarks were noted in an article published by China’s largest state-owned newspaper, People’s Daily, on Wednesday, March 6.

Song underlined that in the future, Alibaba can implement blockchain in complex supply chains to create a closed-loop ecological system that could be linked with local governments. Alibaba also plans to develop new technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain in the fields of customs brokers, international logistics and trade finances, according to Song’s extended remarks to brokerage and investment bank China Galaxy Securities.

Back in December 2018, Alibaba Group announced an upgrade of its service platform to a cross-border supply chain platform with the use of IoT and blockchain technologies.

As Cointelegraph reported on Oct. 25, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, Alibaba Cloud, announced their aim to expand their enterprise-level Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) to major international markets including Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia.

Earlier in October, Alibaba Group had filed a patent application for a blockchain-based system authorizing parties to freeze or halt user accounts associated with illegal transactions, or intervene in a blockchain network, Cointelegraph wrote on Oct. 5.

Recently, the World Trade Organization published a report that underlined the effectiveness of blockchain applications for several industries, including cross-border trade finance, logistics and transportation.

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Hyperledger Onboards 12 New Members Including Alibaba Cloud, Deutsche Telekom and Citi

Open source initiative Hyperledger has announced 12 new members including Alibaba Cloud, Citi and Deutsche Telekom, among others.

Hyperledger has onboarded 12 new members, including such major firms as Alibaba Cloud, Citi, and Deutsche Telekom, according to an announcement published on Dec. 11.

Launched in 2016, Hyperledger is an open source project created by the Linux Foundation and created to support the development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.

The new members were announced at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. The latest general members that joined the initiative include Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of the e-commerce giant; financial services firm Citigroup, Deutsche Telekom, one of the largest telecoms providers in Europe; and European blockchain trading platform, among others.

Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said that “the growing Hyperledger community  reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets.” Beth Devin, Head of Innovation Network and Emerging Technology at Citi Ventures said:

“We believe blockchain has the potential to drive new forms of efficiency and develop new markets, and are pleased to join the Hyperledger project to advance our exploration.”

This month, the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee approved the Ursa project, a modular cryptography software library. Ursa is meant to avoid wasted work on duplicate projects, enhancing security by simplifying analysis and making it “less likely for less experienced people to create their own less secure implementations.”

In October, the central bank of Germany, Deutsche Bundesbank, and securities marketplace organizer Deutsche Boerse (DB) successfully completed the trial of a blockchain solution in the settlements area. The transaction volume and speed of a production system were tested on the Hyperledger Fabric framework and Digital Asset, a distributed ledger (DLT) solution for the financial sector.

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Alibaba, IBM Ranked Top Globally for Number of Blockchain Patent Filed

Tech giants Alibaba and IBM are vying for the top spot on a new list that ranks global entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date, published August 31 by iPR Daily.

iPR Daily — a media outlet specializing in intellectual property — says it consolidated data as of August 10 from across China, the EU, America, Japan and South Korea, as well consulting the International Patent System from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China’s Alibaba only just seals first place, having filed a total of 90 blockchain-related patent applications, whereas IBM has to date filed a total of 89.

In third place is Mastercard — with 80 filings — followed by Bank of America, with 53. Fifth on the new list is China’s central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBoC), which has filed a total of 44 patent applications devoted to its project for central bank digital currency.

As Cointelegraph has reported, WIPO data has previously indicated that the highest number of patent filings for blockchain technology in 2017 came from China, which filed 225 that year as compared with the America’s 91 and Australia’s 13.

China’s embrace of the technology is counterbalanced by an increasingly stringent stance against decentralized cryptocurrencies, which has intensified yet further in recent weeks.

This split position is mirrored by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, who has been vocal in his endorsement of blockchain, even while reserving skepticism for cryptocurrencies.

IBM for its part has been steadily expanding its involvement in blockchain across diverse fields, recently signing a five-year $740 million deal with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation across federal departments, including defense and home affairs.

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China Extends Crypto-Related Promotion Ban Beyond the Capital

China’s anti-crypto onslaught continues, as a prohibition against commercial venues from hosting crypto-related events has been extended to Guangzhou Development District, local media outlet Jiemian reports August 29.

Guangzhou Development District is a special economic zone in southern China, close to Hong Kong. The district’s Financial Development Bureau reportedly issued a notice of the new ban August 24, warning of the need to “maintain the security and stability of the financial system.”

As reported last week, the move follows an almost identical ban first imposed upon venues in Beijing’s Chaoyang district in mid-August.

China’s has this month redoubled its efforts to crackdown on the domestic crypto space. A spate of fresh measures have targeted communication channels and other “loopholes” through which Chinese investors can gain exposure to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading.

On August 21, the 1-billion-user social media platform WeChat permanently blocked a number of high-profile crypto and blockchain-related accounts that were accused of publishing crypto “hype” in violation of regulations introduced earlier this month. WeChat operator Tencent subsequently issued a statement announcing a ban on crypto trading, with other tech giants also following Beijing’s draconian lead.

China’s ‘Google,’ Baidu, has closed at least two popular crypto-related chat forums, with a notice reportedly informing users that the move comes “in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.”

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba – whose subsidiary Ant Financial runs the popular internet payment app Alipay – has now clarified that it will restrict or permanently ban any accounts it finds to be engaged in crypto trading. On August 24, Alipay had first targeted those accounts using its network to transact in Bitcoin (BTC) over-the-counter (OTC) trades.

On August 24, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued its own risk alert against “illegal” ICOs, warning that blockchain and the idea of “financial innovation” are being used to lure investors as a “gimmick” that conceals essentially fraudulent Ponzi schemes.

New measures are also reportedly underway to bolster the “clean-up” of third-party crypto payment channels, including those used for OTC trade. This January, Beijing banned fringe platforms including peer-to-peer (P2P) and OTC resources, tightening a blanket embargo on crypto-to-fiat trading and ICOs in place since September 2017.

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Ant Financial Is Launching a Blockchain App to Tackle Food Fraud

Ant Financial, a payments affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is poised to launch its own blockchain-as-a-service platform next month, alongside a rice-tracking application intended to tackle counterfeit products.

Announced Tuesday, the firm has partnered with the municipal government of the Chinese city of Wuchang to deploy a consortium blockchain for tracking the entire production process of locally grown rice.

Located in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province, Wuchang is known for the high quality of a specific type of local rice. However, over the past years, news reports have revealed that packages delivered from the region were sometimes mixed with rice of lower quality.

Starting from Sept. 30, every package of “Wu Chang rice” sold by flagship stores on Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform will display a QR code that customers can scan using Alipay to obtain information about the food’s origin.

Ant Financial said its distributed network is deployed among participating nodes including flagship stores’ rice producers, Wuchang’s Bureau of Quality and Technology Supervision, logistics supplier Cainiao and the Tmall platform.

The goal is to create a public ledger that contains unique information for each rice package so that any data discrepancy with the counterfeit products can be easily spotted.

“Consumers will be able to access production and logistics information including where the rice was harvested, which type of seed was used, and other details associated with the harvesting, packaging and transportation of the rice,” the company said in the statement.

Further, Ant Financial said it expects to launch its blockchain-as-a-service platform in September – opening up its blockchain development tools for more enterprises.

In April, Alibaba announced that it was trialing a different blockchain-based supply chain app in order to prevent food fraud. That project is being carried out in partnership with Australian healthcare firm Blockmores and New Zealand dairy product maker Fonterra.

Rice sacks image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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China’s Baidu Joins Tech Giants Tencent, Alibaba in Imposing Fresh Anti-Crypto Measures

Chinese tech giant Baidu has joined Tencent and Alibaba in imposing new anti-crypto measures in line with Beijing’s toughened stance, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports Monday, August 27.

China’s ‘Google,’ Baidu, has closed at least two popular crypto-related chat forums, according to SCMP, with a notice reportedly informing users that the move comes “in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.”

Meanwhile, Tencent –– the operator of the 1-billion-user social media platform WeChat, has reportedly issued a statement announcing its own ban on crypto trading. The platform has said it will monitor daily transactions in real time and block any suspicious transactions accordingly.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba –– whose subsidiary Ant Financial runs the overwhelmingly popular internet payment app Alipay –– has for its part said it will restrict or permanently ban any accounts it finds to be engaged in crypto trading.

All three announcements follow closely upon the heels of last week’s onslaught of toughened anti-crypto measures in China. These included a ban on all commercial venues from hosting any crypto-related events in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, alongside measures targeting communication channels or “loopholes” through which Chinese investors can gain exposure to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and crypto trading.

As reported August 21, WeChat permanently blocked a number of high-profile crypto and blockchain related accounts –– including CoinDaily, Deepchain, and Huobi News –– that were accused of publishing crypto “hype” in violation of regulations introduced earlier this month.

On August 24, Alipay announced that it would block those accounts that use its network to transact in Bitcoin (BTC) over-the-counter (OTC) trade, and would further establish an inspection system for “key websites and accounts.” Ant Financial has also reportedly said it plans to conduct a “risk prevention” program intended to educate users about the dangers of false crypto-related “propaganda.”

On August 25, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued its own fresh warning declaring that it would be ratcheting up stringent measures against “illegal” ICOs.

According to CT Japan, new measures are also reportedly underway to toughen the “clean-up” of third-party crypto payment channels, including those used by OTC platforms.

This January, a fresh crackdown from Beijing had notably already seen fringe trading platforms including as peer-to-peer (P2P) and OTC resources banned, adding to a blanket embargo on crypto-to-fiat trading and ICOs in place since September 2017.

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China’s Crypto Crackdown Continues — Alipay Bans Bitcoin OTC Accounts

The most recent round of China’s crypto crackdown has continued, with the Alipay mobile payment processing service banning accounts that are affiliated with over-the-counter (OTC) Bitcoin trading. This news comes via a report from Beijing News, who broke this news in the early morning on August 24th.

The payment processing service in question is the Hangzhou-based (China) Alipay, which is owned by the multi-national conglomerate that is the similarly-named Alibaba, one of the most influential and valuable companies in the world. According to the aforementioned news report, Alipay will now be putting restrictions, or even outright banning accounts that propagate OTC cryptocurrency trading.

Additionally, to prevent future occurrences of OTC trading on the payment platform, Alipay will reportedly keep a close eye on suspicious accounts, while also installing an inspection system for “key websites and accounts” as CoinTelegraph puts it.

While Alipay may seem like a cumbersome method of cryptocurrency trading, after the Chinese government banned crypto exchanges from providing service to Chinese citizens, committed traders had to get creative, hailing in a short era of back-alley transactions and the like.

Red Li, the co-founder of 8Btc, a popular China-based community of crypto and blockchain enthusiasts, confirmed this restriction, relaying the news on his Twitter account.

Ant Financial, which runs Alipay, see “virtual currency trading” as a large risk to its users, hence why the firm hasn’t made a foray into offering crypto exchange services. Additionally, the report added that the firm has planes to “resolutely” strike down accounts that are suspected for virtual currency-related transactions or business operations.

Along with restricting such accounts, Ant Financial added that it will create a “risk prevention education” module for its users, in a bid to “remind users not to be deceived by various false propaganda, to recognize the risks of virtual currency transactions, and to avoid the possible losses suffered.”

China’s Relentless Crypto Aversion

It has become apparent that this move is just another one of the Chinese government’s attempts to stave off the propagation of cryptocurrencies, which they evidently see as a threat to China’s traditional systems. As reported by Ethereum World News, China’s National Fintech Risk office recently identified 124 cryptocurrency exchange platforms that were still available for Chinese citizens.

As China has banned overseas cryptocurrency exchanges time and time again, the country’s firewall quickly swallowed up access to these sites. Along with banning the aforementioned platforms, the governmental organization also noted that it plans to introduce monitoring systems to ensure no foreign exchanges sneak under China’s ‘great firewall’.

In related news, Chinese technology giant Tencent banned over eight crypto-centric news outlets on its WeChat mobile platform, which has become a primary mode of communication in the Asian region. Citing new governmental regulations, Tencent noted that it banned these accounts due to suspicions of “publishing information related to initial coin offerings (ICOs),” along with spreading crypto-related hype.  Last but not least, Beijing’s Chaoyang district has also revealed that it has banned local hotels, shopping malls and office buildings from hosting crypto-related events.

While one of the world’s largest economies still seems to have an aversion towards cryptocurrencies, governmental organizations have still openly endorsed and financially supported blockchain startups that intend to overhaul China’s legacy systems.

Photo by Jennifer Chen on Unsplash


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Alibaba Payments App to Step Up Scrutiny Over Crypto OTC Trading

Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, is cooperating with Chinese regulators to scrutinize peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading using its Alipay mobile app.

Beijing News, a media outlet administrated by the Communist Party, reported on Friday Ant Financial is now beefing up efforts to monitor both merchant and customer accounts as well as notable sites that integrate the Alipay gateway to facilitate over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading.

A spokesperson from Ant Financial told CoinDesk that “Alipay adheres to the principle of not providing services for virtual currency transactions,” adding:

“We have been and will continue to closely monitor over-the-counter trading activities. If we find any transactions that we suspect are related to virtual currencies, we take appropriate measures including, but not limited to suspension of related fund transfers and permanently restricting payment collection functions of accounts involved.”

However, the company did not offer details on whether or how many accounts it had already found with crypto trading involvement.

The news follows yesterday’s report that Chinese financial regulators are now seeking to block the internet access to over 100 overseas crypto trading platforms that are still providing services to Chinese investors.

WeChat Pay, another prominent mobile payments application launched by the internet giant Tencent, has also been monitoring and blocking accounts that are suspected of handling crypto transactions, as CoinDesk reported previously.

Following the notable ban on crypto trading and initial coin offerings from People’s Bank of China in September 2017, major Chinese exchanges all shifted their businesses overseas but continued to offer crypto-to-fiat OTC trading.

Alipay, WeChat Pay and bank transfer have since been used as ways for Chinese residents to purchase cryptocurrency assets.

Alipay image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.