Chinese E-Commerce Giant Launches Smart City Institute Exploring Blockchain
According to the People’s Daily on Sept. 28, 2018, JD Finance, a division of the Beijing-based e-commerce goliath JD.com (Jingdong Group), recently founded the Smart City Research Institute at its Nanjing headquarters.
A smart city is generally an urban area that ultilizes various forms of electronic information collection sensors in order to provide data used to manage resources and assets in a more productive way. Historically focusing on technological advancements in finance, e-commerce, and logistics, JD.com created the Smart City Research Institute to accelerate smart city construction through emerging technologies including blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data.
JD.com’s regional headquarters in Nanjing will influence “the entire East China region” in efforts to increase efficiency and reduce costs. According to the People’s Daily report, the Nanjing-based institute is focused on building solutions pertaining to urban environment, transportation, planning, energy consumption, commerce, security, healthcare, credit cities, and e-government.
Regardless of uncertainties surrounding blockchain technology, smart cities will unquestionably be a major trend in the coming years. According to Orvis Research, the global smart cities market was valued at $529.6 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $1944.7 billion by the end of 2023, with a CAGR of 24.2%. In fact, Ping An, Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei recently announced a smart city initiative in late August with 500 Chinese cities on board. JD.com is clearly also onto something.
JD.com has already implemented several blockchain solutions in various verticals of its business, including supply chain and the issuance of asset-backed securities via a blockchain.
Additionally, JD.com announced its Blockchain-as-a-Service or BaaS platform in August. The BaaS tool is reported to enable companies in the building, hosting, and implementation of blockchain applications.
The BaaS tool is different from traditional enterprise blockchain solutions, offering something similar to an app store for applications that feature a blockchain.
Thus, JD.com is clearly making a major push into both the blockchain technology and smart city space. Keep up with CryptoSlate to more learn about recent developments in the blockchain ecosystem.
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