Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com Rolls Out Blockchain Research Lab

The retail company partners with the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Science to analyze distributed ledger technology.

JD.com, one of the largest Chinese e-commerce companies, has partnered with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) to analyze business implications of the distributed ledger technology (DLT). The three entities launched a blockchain laboratory on Tuesday, which marks the latest DLT initiative of the retail giant.

The joint lab will analyze the biggest blockchain bottlenecks including scalability and efficiency concerns as well as the creation of decentralized applications (dApps), according to a JD.com press release. The Chinese Academy of Science will participate in the project through the Institute of Software (ISCAS), which is the software division of the Institute of Computing Technology at CAS.

 “[The Lab activities] will include multi-year collaborative research efforts into fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection and security in decentralized applications, among other areas,” JD.com said in its statement.

dApps are one of the business implementations of blockchain. Developed as a DLT, blockchain has widened its implications far beyond cryptocurrencies. It has become attractive to various industries including e-commerce as DLT can lower costs and speed up business processes by generating automatic smart contracts. However, scalability, or the number of transactions that DLT can process, remains one of the significant obstacles for mass blockchain adoption. 

“The new lab will be led by Dr. Jian Pei, president of JD Big Data and Smart Supply Chain, Dr. Qiang Tang, assistant professor in the Ying Wu College of Computing at NJIT, and Dr. Zhenfeng Zhang, vice chief engineer at ISCAS,” JD.com said.

Both Dr. Tang and Dr. Zhang have a strong experience in cryptographic research.

JD.com, which claims that it has more than 300 customers, works on several blockchain projects. The e-commerce company has unveiled a DLT traceability system, blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) product and a DLT business license tool. The retailer also participates in the Chinese Blockchain Food Safety Alliance along with IBM, and Walmart.

Reading now