Reuters reports that Fosun Group, one of China’s most active investment conglomerates, has become the “sole investor in the first round of fundraising of Shanghai Distributed Technologies,” a startup dedicated to blockchain, “the much-hyped technology that underpins virtual currencies such as bitcoin.”
- Fosun sees the potential of “applying the technology across its businesses, which are as varied as financial services and pharmaceuticals.”
- One possible application of blockchain is the frictionless, secure transfer of medical data and billing information between hospital networks and insurers — see the Nashville-based company Hashed Health for more on this.
- Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs published a minisite on blockchain, and has invested in developing technologies that could reduce money transfer and transaction costs for both investment and retail banks. For more on blockchain, clearly from a bullish point of view, see this guide on Invest in Blockchain.
- The Chinese government is encouraging the development of blockchain. Reuters quotes Shanghai-based financial researcher and consultant Zennon Kapron: “The government, regulators and entrepreneurs…see an opportunity for China to really put a stake in the ground and show its development and innovation around blockchain.”
In other cryptocurrency news:
- Quartz says that “China’s two biggest bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, collectively invested around 1 billion yuan ($150 million) of idle client funds into ‘wealth-management products’” (WMP), which are high-yield but risky funds run by banks and other financial institutions. A run on one of these bitcoin exchanges or the collapse of a WMP could pose a serious risk.
- Tech in Asia notes that the growing reliance of bitcoin miners on cheap, stable electricity to power their computers means that such companies will have to work closely with the government and be in step with regulators.
- Today, bitcoin is trading at over $4,000 per coin, up from less than $600 one year ago. (See CoinDesk for bitcoin prices.)
New Balance wins $1.5 million in landmark China trademark case / NYT (paywall)
China’s Great Wall reverses away from potential purchase of Jeep from Fiat Chrysler / The Telegraph
Are South Korean carmakers in China running on empty? / Caixin (paywall)
Long hours lead to labor disputes for China’s startups / Sixth Tone
China’s labor law is no use to those who need it most / The Economist (paywall)
Baidu’s facial recognition solution under testing at Beijing Airport / TechNode
Chinese cities are saying “enough already” to bike-sharing services run rampant / Quartz
Hi-tech hired muscle: Chinese firm launches rent-a-bodyguard app / SCMP
Why is Toutiao, a news app, setting off alarm bells for China’s giants? / TechNode
North American exodus at PetroChina sparks speculation of company shift / Reuters
Military giant Poly Group takes over two SOEs / Caixin