Alibaba is one of the many companies that thrives with the development of blockchain applications. They also happen to own more blockchain patents than any other company.
The CEO of the Ant Financial branch of Alibaba said,
“We are the most patented company in the world of blockchain technology.”
In 2017 alone, 406 applications for patents were filed. Out of those patents, Alibaba had 43 of them. The only company to file more application is the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which filed 68. The majority of the patents filed were for innovations that Alibaba has planned for inventions, designs, and utility. One of these patents that has peaked interest is Ant Financial blockchain 2.0, improving on the open platform to make it more capable of self-operation.
Along with their activity with Blockchain patents, Alibaba shows its knowledge of blockchain with partnerships, innovation, and adoption on their platform. Companies around the world are working to use blockchain technology for their supply chains, which would help them to maintain transparency for many different industries. For instance, some of the main uses are the ability to reduce counterfeiting of brand-specific products, records of every transaction, and reduction of bad working conditions. Alibaba specifically has helped with food fraud, medical data, and cross-border shipments.
Lynx And T-Mall Add Blockchain Technology
Lynx International is a subsidiary of Alibaba, and they have used blockchain technology to help with their cross-border logistics services. By integrating this tech to their business, every part of the shipping process is effortlessly recorded for full verification.
Tang Ren, the technical director with Lynx, said,
“Although the concept of blockchain has only recently started to emerge, it has a very wide range of applications.”
T-Mall is another subsidiary, and they have partnered with Cainiao for integration with blockchain technology and their cross-border supply chain. Right now, it is being used to follow the shipments of these products for 50 different countries.
How Alibaba Integrates Blockchain Into Other Industries
As listed above, Alibaba has managed to integrate blockchain into multiple industries, so let’s start with counterfeit food. Alibaba was one of the earliest companies to help with food security, starting with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in China. They helped established the “Food Trust Framework” that allowed the brand to see the entire transition from producing the food item to delivering them to customers. IBM followed closely after in 2016, collaborating with major food distributors like Dole, Kroger, and Tyson Foods.
Alibaba has thrived in China exponentially, helping with healthcare as well. In the healthcare industry, the blockchain is meant to show medical records for patients in a way that maintains a clear history of illness and check-ups with doctors, making it easier to treat patients. The goal is to create a “trusted environment for transactions.”
Their strategy is “BASIC,” which is an abbreviation for “Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Security, Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing.
Alibaba Stays Away From Cryptocurrency
Even though Alibaba is deeply involved with the blockchain industry, there is no room for them to become part of the crypto world too. Jack Ma, the founder of the entire brand, has explicitly told the public over and over that he simply has no interest, and even looks down upon Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
In regard to his concerns, Mr. Ma has said,
“I said honestly, I know very little about it, and I’m totally confused. Even if it works, the whole international rules on trade and financing are going to be completely changed.”
Some sources believe that the negative opinions on cryptocurrency come from the realistic view he may have, considering the crackdown that China has issued on this asset.
Mr. Ma has also said,
“We should be cautious about Bitcoin. Its underlying technology, however, is powerful. I pay more attention to a cashless society and the blockchain technology. And I am not shameful that I don’t know about Bitcoin.”
There was news recently that Alibaba was planning to setup their own ICO and mining nodes for crypto. However, they issued a statement through Weibo to clarify the fact that the P2P nodes are only for their content distribution, rather than for mining.