According to a research report released on Friday, August 31, 2018, by iPR Daily, a media company specializing in intellectual property, Alibaba currently has over 90 patent applications on blockchain-based technologies. On an international level, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that the internet giant has filed for over 10 percent of the world’s blockchain-related patents.
Alibaba Leads China’s Ambitions to Dominate the Blockchain Sector
It’s no surprise that China has filed more patent applications than any other country in the world. According to data collected by Thomsons Reuters, in 2017, large technology companies in China like Tencent Holdings and Baidu lodged more than 56 percent of the worldwide total of 406 blockchain-related patents. In 2017, Alibaba filed 43 blockchain-related patents. Some are still currently awaiting approval.
“Blockchain is a new technological landscape where it could be very profitable for Chinese companies to grab significant territory in their patent claim language,” said John Eastwood, a partner at Eiger Law. “Holding several patents helps to give an aura of legitimacy that helps many companies in the blockchain field to attract investors or acquirers.”
Alibaba Tests Blockchain Technology with the Municipal Government in Wuchang
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Alibaba’s payment subsidiary Ant Financial and Alipay are partnering with the municipal Government in Wuchang to undergo a live pilot of blockchain technology to ensure that the rice produced in the area is authentic. While the area is known for high-quality rice, counterfeit versions have entered the market in the last few years, damaging the credibility of the government and livelihoods of farmers in the area.
Every packet of Wuchang rice on sale at Alibaba’s Tmall platform from September 30, 2018, will have a small QR code. When customers scan the code, they can see and track the shipment and view related information of their rice. The information includes the type of seeds used and where it was harvested. Furthermore, the new blockchain system will also increase efficiency by reducing delivery time.
“Blockchain technology can help overcome the challenges of security, sustainability, and inclusion,” said Jack Ma, the Alibaba founder during the launch of Alibaba’s blockchain-based remittance service in June. “It could change our world more than people can imagine.”
Alibaba is also working with professional services network firm PwC, Australian health supplement company Blackmores, and New Zealand dairy company Fonterra to test and develop blockchain-based tracking systems. Like the rice project in Wuchang, the goal is to prevent food fraud and streamline operations.