Tencent, Huawei and JD.com are among 71 companies the Communist Party of China has added to a new blockchain committee, which Beijing hopes will set standards for a national ledger.
The catchily-named “National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee” comprises many of China’s top tech brands, as well as academics and politburo members. It will help the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) regulate blockchain and, in the words of Premier Xi Jinping, “seize the opportunity” of the sector.
MIIT first began delving into the value of cryptocurrencies in 2018. When Facebook announced its Libra currency last year, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said China should develop a national rival currency.
Experts have compared China’s latest blockchain efforts to its One Belt One Road initiative, where the country lends infrastructural assistance to nations in return for political capital.
By combining the efforts of its most esteemed companies, the country could develop standards others across the world adopt. That will topple the concept of a decentralized economy – something Beijing certainly does not desire.