The multinational e-commerce conglomerate, Alibaba, was built on a stack of innovative technologies, and now, with the ever-rising competition in the e-commerce space like Amazon and eBay, survival is paramount. Alibaba must try to stay ahead of its rivals, and one way the company is doing this is by continuing to embrace innovation and technology.
This is where the blockchain comes into play…
This disruptive technology is quickly gaining ground, and Alibaba wants to spearhead innovation and avoid missing out on the merits of early adoption.
When it comes to blockchain innovation, Alibaba is undoubtedly leading the way. The myriad of blockchain-related projects they are involved in is proof of the company’s hope in the transformative power of blockchain. The following are some of the blockchain initiatives of Alibaba.
As of 2017, the massive adoption of blockchain tech has seen it amass over 140 patents. Alibaba currently has about 43 of these patents under its belt, making the Chinese e-commerce giant the world’s leading enterprise for blockchain patents, which the company relishes. “We are the most patented company in the world of blockchain technology,” said Jing Xiandong, CEO of Alibaba ’s financial arm Ant Financial.
Blockchain enthusiasts have often touted the merits that blockchain technology brings to the healthcare industry, and Alibaba has clearly been paying attention. They partnered with the Chinese government to use blockchain to create a safe and trustless environment for healthcare transactions.
More recently, Alibaba also partnered with Xiamen ZhongChuan IoT Industry Research Institution to leverage blockchain and Internet of Thing (IoT) in creating a new type of blockchain designed uniquely for the IoT space.
Alibaba subsidiaries have begun integrating blockchain into their operations. First of all, Alibaba’s T-Mall e-commerce platform is reportedly adopting blockchain technology in its cross-border supply chain via a partnership with logistics company Cainiao.
Also, another Alibaba subsidiary, Lynx International, has announced the successful integration of blockchain technology into their cross-border logistics business, enabling them to track details on shipment imports.
- Blockchain Projects/Applications
The versatility of the blockchain allows it to have a wide array of potential real-world applications, and Alibaba is in the race to turn some of these “potential” applications into reality. Here are some of the blockchain applications the e-commerce giant has dabbled in:
- Blockchain in Real Estate: The Ant Financial blockchain is a project created by Alibaba’s financial arm. They’re involved in transforming the home rental experience by combining smart contracts with biometric recognition.
- Blockchain in the Supply Chain: The problem of counterfeits or the hassles that come with recording transactional details on the supply chain easily disappears when blockchain is implemented. Alibaba recognizes these merits and has been actively involved in utilizing blockchain technology to track cross-border shipment, fight food fraud, and provide security for medical data.
- Blockchain in the Food Industry: Proving itself as a pace-setter in blockchain innovation, Alibaba partnered with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to find solutions to China’s food security problems. Out of this partnership, a system dubbed food trust framework was created with the aim of using blockchain to track how products move from producer to consumer and combat food fraud.
With the success of several blockchain projects, and its continued interest, patent developments, and commitment to growing its blockchain technology footprint, Alibaba has cemented itself as a pioneer in the field and will continue to play a vital role in the future of this emerging technology.