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Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Launches Enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in a press release published today, August 17.

The new tool, dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform, aims to enable businesses to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch.

According to the press release, the service will offer smart contract functionality for “public and private enterprise clouds.” JD outlines a range of potential use cases for the platform:

“The technology can help companies streamline operational procedures such as tracking and tracing the movement of goods and charity donations, authenticity certification, property assessment, transaction settlements, digital copyrights, and enhance productivity.”

JD presents the BaaS tool as the “latest expansion” of its Retail as a Service (RaaS) strategy, through which it aims to make advanced technologies and infrastructure accessible to other businesses and industries.

The platform will host an app store that offers different “blockchain bottom layers, tools and software” that have either been developed in-house or by independent software developers. While these latter are not specified in the press release, JD says it will oversee and implement “stringent quality control over the offerings on the app store.”

The first partner to use the platform is reportedly the China Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC) for creating a blockchain-based electronic invoice system to trace “fapiao” — the Chinese term for official tax authority-approved invoices.

As Cointelegraph has reported, major firms including WeChat giant Tencent, alongside China’s municipal authorities, have recently been turning to blockchain-based e-invoice systems in order to achieve a frictionless link between enterprise and consumer entities and state tax services.

While JD is by no means a newcomer to the blockchain space,  other Chinese corporations have preempted its BaaS offering. In April, telecoms giant Huawei revealed its Hyperledger-powered BaaS tool, which is similarly geared towards cloud-based smart contract development and efficient blockchain solutions for businesses.

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JD.com Rolls Out Blockchain Platform With Its First App

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has launched a blockchain-as-a-service platform alongside its first app – one that digitally tracks corporate invoices for one of the largest publicly traded insurers in China.

According to a release on Friday, JD.com said the application moves invoice data for Pacific Insurance onto a distributed network at each step of the issuance cycle, automating the process and making it visible to all participants.

Invoices, or more commonly known as “Fapiao” in China, play an important role among businesses in the country both as a reference for bookkeeping and for taxation purposes.

The goal of the app, as explained by the e-commerce giant, is to boost issuance efficiency and to streamline the accounting process by keeping the invoice data updated on a distributed ledger.

The application comes as the first use case for JD.com’s Blockchain Open Platform which was also announced today.

The blockchain-as-a-service product – rolled out months after the firm announced its plan for the project in April – is designed to aid enterprises wanting to develop their own blockchain applications, including those for tracking supply chain information, charity donations, certificate authentication and property assessment.

JD.com has previously announced several blockchain trial programs within its own business divisions.

In March, the firm partnered with an Australian beef producer to track the supply chain information of beef import on its platform using blockchain technology. CoinDesk also reported in June that JD’s financial services arm planned to issue its asset-backed securities on a blockchain in partnership with a local bank and brokerage firm.

JD.com image via Shutterstock

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JD.com's Finance Arm to Issue Asset-Backed Securities on a Blockchain

JD Finance, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, announced on Wednesday that it is planning to issue asset-backed securities (ABSs) on a blockchain.

According to a report from the Securities Times, an outlet of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, JD Finance established the project in partnership with Huatai Securities, a brokerage firm that will underwrite the issuance, as well as Xingye Bank, which will act as a trust.

JD Finance aims to issue the securities using a consortium blockchain that will see each party act as a node, recording the transactions in a transparent manner. The experiment sets out to ascertain if the blockchain can meet the demands of the various parties involved in the asset securitization process, such as issuers, underwriters and buyers.

The financial services firm first rolled out its traditional, non-blockchain ABS product in 2015, as well as an online service that helps other companies to raise capital through their issuance. This typically comes in the form of a portfolio of loans or credit card debts that can be further traded on the secondary market.

According to a local news source, the firm issued an automobile loan in August 2017 using a blockchain platform, marking the firm’s initial trial in incorporating distributed ledger technology to its financial services.

JD.com also announced in April that it will launch a proprietary blockchain-as-a-service platform this year, in line with other tech giants including Huawei, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.

JD.com 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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E-Commerce Giant JD to Launch Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has today unveiled a white paper detailing its next big step into the blockchain industry.

Drawn up by JD’s blockchain technology and application center, the white paper outlines a variety of verticals that the firm will target with the launch a new blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform.

JD’s BaaS service will provide blockchain tools for developing apps in areas such as supply chain data tracking; public services, such as government taxation and authenticating charity donations; financial settlement and securities remittance; fraud prevention in insurance; and big data security.

“JD is actively building and opening up its own BaaS platform in bid to let the government, logistic industry, financial institutions and other enterprises to launch blockchain applications,” the white paper states.

The document release comes on the heels of JD.com’s previous announcements in the space. Early this month, it revealed a blockchain system for tracking beef imports from Australia. The firm also recently launched a blockchain accelerator program to help blockchain startups scale up their applications via integrations with JD’s business lines.

The effort also comes amid moves by other major Chinese companies into the blockchain industry. As reported by CoinDesk, internet giants Baidu and Tencent have both launched BaaS platforms in the last year.

JD.com 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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JD.com to Track Beef Imports Using Blockchain Platform

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has announced that it will roll out a blockchain platform to track imports of beef products from an overseas meat supplier.

According to an announcement Friday, the e-commerce platform said it has partnered with Australia’s InterAgri to import the firm’s Angus beef products to Chinese consumers, making the production process traceable on a blockchain.

The system, JD.com says, will record a range of information, including where the livestock was bred and raised, where the meat was processed and how it was transported. While not disclosing an exact deployment timeline, the company said the system will be implemented later this spring.

Chen Zhang, CTO at JD.com, said:

“We’re increasingly implementing blockchain-enabled traceability solutions. Consumers in China don’t just want quality imported products, they want to know that they can trust how and where their food is sourced, and blockchain helps us deliver this peace of mind.”

The adoption of blockchain technology comes as part of an ongoing effort by JD.com to improve confidence among domestic consumers over the quality of products imported through e-commerce platforms in China.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, JD.com helped form the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance together with retail giant Walmart, IBM and Tsinghua University. The effort seeks to pilot blockchain technologies in bringing greater levels of transparency to the country’s food supply chain.

Angus cattle image via Shutterstock

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E-Commerce Giant JD.com Launches Blockchain Startup Accelerator

JD.com, one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms, is launching an accelerator program to foster the development of blockchain-focused startups.

According to an announcement Tuesday, the program, starting in March and dubbed “AI Catapult,” aims to incubate young blockchain firms – helping them scale their applications through integrations with JD.com’s various businesses in China, including e-commerce and logistics.

JD.com said it has already signed up at least four blockchain startups – from China, Australia, Singapore and the U.K. so far – to kick off the initiative. The firms cover a wide range of services from database to payment and identity platforms, JD says.

The initiative comes as the latest effort from the e-commerce firm to adopt blockchain within its various operations.

As reported previously, in December 2017, JD.com partnered with retail giant Walmart to pilot the use of blockchain technology to track food safety in the supply chain.

More recently, JD Logistic, the supply chain arm of JD.com, joined a transportation blockchain alliance to work towards the use of distributed ledgers in the logistics field.

Meanwhile, JD Cloud, the platforms’ cloud computing service division, has quietly launched an online platform that provides tailor-made blockchain solutions, similar to rival blockchain-as-a-Service products unveiled by internet giants Tencent and Baidu.

JD.com image via Shutterstock

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Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Joins Blockchain in Transport Alliance

The logistics arm of Chinese retail and internet giant JD.com has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).

The firm said in an announcement yesterday that JD Logistics joins the alliance with the aim of sharing its knowledge and applications of blockchain technology with other international freight firms, including fellow BiTA members UPS, FedEx, Penske and more.

BiTA was set up with the aim of developing and promoting blockchain standards for global freight and logistics companies.

JD Logistics, formed in 2017 is the first Chinese logistics enterprise to join the alliance, the announcement states. The company said it plans use blockchain in the optimization of supply chains, cross-border logistics and communications, as well as to help improve collaboration on the tech within the industry.

The news comes just a day after shipping giant FedEx announced its membership of BiTA.

Blockchain tech is increasingly being viewed as a potential means to bring more efficiency, transparency and lower costs to the logistics industry.

Just last month, blockchain technology startup Skuchain and NTT Data Corporation partnered to develop blockchain applications for supply chains. The partners said they will work to complete a system that integrates blockchain with the internet of things (IoT) to help solve problems with traditional supply chain methods.

Global shipping giant Maersk has also indicated it is spinning off its blockchain work with IBM in an effort to foster collaboration between its competitors. The yet-to-be-named joint venture is aimed help ensure transparency and a level playing field among participants, the firm told CoinDesk on Jan. 16.

JD.com image via Shutterstock

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Walmart, JD.com Back Blockchain Food Tracking Effort in China

Retail giants Walmart and JD.com are among several companies backing a new blockchain effort in China focused on food safety and traceability.

Along with Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies and IBM, the four parties have created the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance, which will seek to connect businesses along the food supply chain within the world’s most populous country.

The idea, according to statements, is to develop “a standards-based method of collecting data about the origin, safety and authenticity of food” among the parties involved, with blockchain serving as a technological basis for recording that information in real time.

For Walmart, the effort represents an expansion of its previous work in the food supply chain area. In October 2016, the retailer unveiled that it was working with Tsinghua and IBM in an effort to track pork products, a process that the company called “very encouraging” during a presentation earlier this year.

“As a global advocate for enhanced food safety, Walmart looks forward to deepening our work with IBM, Tsinghua University, JD and others throughout the food supply chain. Through collaboration, standardization, and adoption of new and innovative technologies, we can effectively improve traceability and transparency and help ensure the global food system remains safe for all,” Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety and health for Walmart, said of the new group.

The inclusion of JD.com – a business-to-consumer e-commerce platform that claimed more than 200 million users as of September – is a notable one, given its overall footprint in China.

And reports that JD.com intends to import billions of dollars worth of food over the next several years would, in theory, create a large inventory of products to track.

“Throughout the world, and particularly in China, consumers increasingly want to know how their food is sourced, and JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency,” Yongli Yu, president of JD’s supply chain research unit, said in a statement.

Image Credit: testing / Shutterstock.com

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