Per a report published in Bloomberg Law on August 19, China is poised to overtake the west in terms of blockchain infrastructure development. Chinese IP attorneys told the news publication that unlike the west, a government in China is fully behind the tech companies in the country aiming to foster blockchain technology implementation.
Complete Government Backing
A stark difference between the technological ecosystem in China and some of its counterparts like the U.S and other developed European economies is that the Chinese authorities have full faith in the local tech companies.
Chinese national and local bodies have been offering all kinds of incentives to budding start-ups, including subsidized patent fees, rewards for patent filings and tax credits. This is seen as an attempt to safeguard blockchain specific intellectual property rights, as the Chinese government officials are sold on the inevitable boom in the demand for blockchain specific solutions in the near future.
It is speculated that the government will soon classify blockchain IP as a national security risk to bring it under the umbrella of China’s cybersecurity law.
There’s healthy competition among the private companies as well, as they try to one-up each other to stay ahead in the game, and more importantly, ahead of their overseas counterparts.
John Eastwood, head of Eiger Law’s intellectual property and technology practice in Taiwan, told Bloomberg Law:
“U.S. universities and corporations are still doing amazing research and development, but it does not have the same support from the government as in China.”
Increasing Number of Blockchain Patents
Eastwood added that companies like Alibaba and Ant Financial have already laid the groundwork to incorporate blockchain as a public ledger to keep a clear and transparent track of counterfeit alcohol products. On a similar note, Chinese retail giant JD.com performed tests to use blockchain in its existing supply chain management mechanism to trace the origin of imported food items.
According to a report by Chinese media site Sina.com, roughly 550 blockchain patents have been submitted by Chinese companies between 2008 and 2017, far ahead of countries like the U.S. and South Korea. Additionally, the Chinese central bank topped the world in 2017 with the highest number of blockchain specific patents filed.
Also worth mentioning is that the Chinese city of Nanjing recently launched a gargantuan $1.5 billion blockchain focused fund in an attempt to establish a cohesive ecosystem for technological startups.
While China has been stern against cryptocurrency, it seems to have developed a particular fascination towards blockchain. Encouraging government moves and policies will only motivate more companies to add to the nascent yet efficient blockchain ecosystem in China.