China’s blockchain technology drive a boon for Hong Kong

HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN): Amid the so-called tech race between China and the United States, blockchain technology is having its Renaissance in the world’s second-largest economy with the strong backing of President Xi Jinping.

Hong Kong, where the months-long violent protests may have cast a shadow over its long-cherished role in the nation’s financial development, has what it takes to sharpen its edge as China vies for the technological future of finance, experts say.

Just like the bold moves China has made in artificial intelligence, 5G networks, robotics, quantum computing and semiconductors to bolster its tech supremacy, blockchain technology looks to be another field in which the Asian political and economic giant is set to take on a leading role.

The go-to technology, defined as a decentralised ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network, is revolutionary, malleable technology — and China knows it pretty well.

The nation accounts for 25 per cent of new blockchain projects worldwide and holds the most blockchain patents.

According to the Center for Information and Industry Development, China now has more than 33,000 registered companies claiming to use blockchain technology in their operations.

While Mark Zuckerberg was fighting with the US Congress over Facebook’s Libra, Xi said in October that China needs to “seize the opportunities” presented by “an important breakthrough” in what appeared to be one of the first endorsements of blockchain technology from a major world leader.

Echoing China’s ambition to be the “rule-maker” in blockchain technology, Eddie Yue Wai-man, who recently took over as the chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said the special administrative region will step up efforts in blockchain technology, whose sheer power could be given full play in areas like trade finance and cross-border payments,…

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