China’s ‘Protectionist’ Blockchain Policy in a Decentralized Ledger Space

China wants to be a major player in the blockchain space but still maintains a protectionist policy.

China has been trumpeting its ambition to become a major player in the blockchain space. But a recent speech by President Xi Jinping hinted that his regime would maintain its protectionist policy with regard to the nascent industry.

Xi told his audience at the annual Chinese Academy of Sciences conference held on May 28:

"To achieve the great goal of building a modernized socialist nation and realize the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we must have strong scientific and technological strength and innovation capabilities."

Xi’s statement was originally intended as a move that would further strengthen speculations that China is gearing towards massive blockchain adoption to achieve global leadership in the technology. Xi also told the country’s scientists that blockchain technology “profoundly affected the country’s future and destiny:

“Since entering the 21st century, global scientific and technological innovation has entered an unprecedented period of intensive activity. A new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial changes are reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure.”

He added that this new generation of information technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communication, internet of things, and blockchain had accelerated breakthroughs in applications and bred new life science fields represented by synthetic biology, gene editing, brain science, and regenerative medicine.

“In short, the original breakthroughs in information, life, manufacturing, energy, space, and oceans provide more innovative sources for cutting-edge technologies and disruptive technologies,” Xi went on to say.

Standardized blockchain rule

Early this month, China said it was working on a national standard in the implementation and application of the blockchain technology in various industries.

China’s director of the Blockchain Research Office, Li Ming, disclosed that the standard plans on creating a national blockchain system were involving all the relevant departments of the Chinese government in coordination with the Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee.

Yu Kequn, director of the National Center for IT Security Research, commented:

“The development of blockchain technology may become an important step for China to grasp global technological competition. It can be applied in the production chain, management chain, and transaction chain, and it will bring the entire life cycle of restructuring to different areas so that the ecosystem can be managed and traceable.”