Efforts by Chinese local governments to improve public service offerings are playing an increasingly important role in driving the growth of the domestic blockchain sector.
A total of 86 government authorities situated in 18 provinces across China launched tenders for a total of 113 blockchain-related projects during the period from 2016 to 2020, according to figures from the “Government Blockchain Project Tender Survey Report 2020” (政府区块链项目招投标普查报告2020) released by 01Caijing and the Chinese Institute of Digital Assets.
The number of blockchain project tenders made by local government has also risen extremely rapidly in just the past several years, from 1 in 2016 to 3 in 2017, 9 in 2018, 28 in 2019 and 72 last year.
Blockchain projects undertaken by local Chinese governments in 2020 included an administrative services blockchain platform in the Heilongjiang capital of Harbin; the development of a foundational administrative blockchain platform in Guangdong province, and a blockchain electronic seal platform in the Zhejiang Province capital of Hangzhou, which was won by Ant Group’s blockchain division with a winning bid of 18.48 million yuan.
The Hangzhou project will involve the use of blockchain technology to create of “electronic seals” that can be used by government, enterprise and members of the public for document authentication and verification purposes.
Since the start of 2021 this local government blockchain development market has continued to flourish, with authorities around China launching tenders for projects to improve public services.
These tenders include the “Blockchain + Accounting Regulation” platform project in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous prefecture of Sichuan province; a project in Dali prefecture to use the blockchain to drive environmental protection efforts, and a “Blockchain + electronic social security card” project in the Jiangxi province city of Xinyu.
Sun Yi (孙翼), a researcher from 01Caijing, said the inclusion of the blockchain under the definition of “new infrastructure” by Beijing has helped to spur government funding for projects that make use of the technology.
“Since April 2020, when the blockchain was officially included under the definition of new information infrastructure, there has been considerable demand for blockchain system upgrades at the administrative level,” said Sun to Securities Daily.
“Looking at specific projects, the majority of tenders are directed at the development of blockchain information management systems and blockchain regulatory systems for the specific operations of government departments, using blockchain technology to optimise the efficiency of public services.”