Taobao updates a buying advice service into a digital artwork platform. China’s digital yuan wallet app sees increased adoption. Beijing court plans to move more of its judicial process online and uses blockchain technology in the process. State-backed Blockchain Services Network plans to build an infrastructure that allows people to build and manage NFT apps and transact in Chinese yuan. 

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The world of blockchain moves fast, and nowhere does it move faster than China. Here’s what you need to know about China’s block-world in the week of Jan. 13 to Jan. 19.

More NFTs with Chinese characteristics

  • Taobao announced on Jan. 16 that it will update its purchase recommendation service HeyBox to turn it into HeyDesign, a blockchain-powered platform for digital artworks. Launched in 2017, HeyBox recommends items to buyers and sellers on Taobao using artificial intelligence and Alibaba’s big data. HeyDesign, or Youyin in Chinese, plans to attract more than 100 artists or businesses to publish design pieces on the platform. (ChinaZ.com, in Chinese)
  • China’s state-backed Blockchain Services Network (BSN) plans to build an infrastructure to help businesses and individuals create and manage non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The infrastructure will allow users to develop their own portals or apps to manage NFTs and transact with only the Chinese yuan, differentiating it from crypto-transacted NFTs outside of China. The infrastructure is named the BSN-Distributed Digital Certificate (BSN-DDC). It’s an open, permissioned blockchain that allows a governing body and integrates 10 chains, including the adapted versions of Ethereum and Corda, plus domestic chains such as Fisco Bcos, initiated by Tencent-backed fintech firm WeBank. (SCMP)

Digital yuan wallet app on the rise

China’s digital yuan wallet app has been downloaded more than 20 million times, doubling its user base in just 10 days following its official launch. China’s life services giant Meituan has also seen growth in digital yuan wallet adoption. In the first week of the wallet’s launch on Jan. 4, the average daily number of digital yuan transactions on the Meituan super app increased by about 43% and users adding digital yuan wallets to Meituan increased by 20%. The wallet app is developed by the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China. (Cailian Press, in Chinese)

Blockchain-powered judicial process

The Beijing court system reported that 67.4% of trials were held online last year, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the country. The court has developed the “Beijing Mobile Court” and “Beijing Cloud Court” (our translations) using blockchain, cloud storage, facial recognition, and other technologies to facilitate the digital transformation. Liu Shuangyu, vice president of Beijing Higher People’s Court, said Beijing will continue to digitize its judicial process, including expanding the use of digital dossiers and case files. (People’s Daily, in Chinese)

Qin Chen

Qin is the managing editor at TechNode. Previously, she was a reporter at Inkstone, a China-focused news site owned by the South China Morning Post. Before that, she worked in the United States for five...