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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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Alibaba Affiliate Boosts Blockchain Tech In $14 Billion New Funding

Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, announced on Friday it has raised $14 billion in a Series C round funding, which will be used to double down on its development of blockchain technology.

Founded in 2004 as AliPay and later rebranded to Ant Financial in 2014, the Alibaba affiliate touts the goal of offering inclusive financial services to the underbanked. According to today’s announcement, the new equity financing will be used to develop the firm’s technological capacity such as in blockchain. Other areas of focus include artificial intelligence and internet of things.

Though Ant Financial has not revealed fine details on a concrete roadmap of blockchain development, the announcement is notable given AliPay’s status as a prominent payment provider in China, which touts 800 million active users last year.

The announcement also comes just days after a report has indicated the firm is pivoting to technology services.

According to Reuters on Tuesday, as China continues its crackdown on financial risk, Ant Financial is shifting its business focus away from consumer financial services to technology development. Within that, blockchain remains one main focus, the report said.

In fact, both Ant Financial and Alibaba have already started blockchain related application development. As reported previously by CoinDesk, Ant Financial has expanded the support for its blockchain-based charity donations platform while Alibaba rolled out a pilot of a blockchain Food Trust Framework that aims to track international shipments.

Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, also said in March that while the firm has ruled out possibility of an initial coin offering, it will continue on blockchain development, with a main focus on cross-blockchain compatibility.

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.

Posted on

Alibaba Affiliate to Boost Blockchain Development After $14 Billion Raise

Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, announced on Friday it has raised $14 billion in a Series C round funding, which will be used to further develop new technologies such as blockchain.

Founded in 2004 as AliPay and later rebranded to Ant Financial in 2014, the Alibaba affiliate touts the goal of offering inclusive financial services to the underbanked. According to today’s announcement, the new equity financing will be used to develop the firm’s technological capacity in artificial intelligence and internet of things, as well as blockchain.

Though Ant Financial has not revealed a concrete roadmap of its planned blockchain development, the announcement is notable given AliPay’s status as a prominent payment provider in China, which claims 800 million active users last year.

The announcement also comes just days after a report has indicated the firm is pivoting to technology services.

According to Reuters on Tuesday, as China continues its crackdown on perceived risks to the financial system, Ant Financial is shifting its business focus away from consumer financial services to technology development. Within that, blockchain remains one main focus, the report said.

In fact, both Ant Financial and Alibaba have already started blockchain-related application development. As reported previously by CoinDesk, Ant Financial has expanded the support for its blockchain-based charity donations platform, while Alibaba has rolled out a pilot of a blockchain Food Trust Framework that aims to track international shipments.

Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, also said in March that, while the firm has ruled out possibility of an initial coin offering, it will continue with blockchain development, taking a main focus on cross-blockchain compatibility.

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.