Chinese Internet Giant Baidu Joins the Hyperledger Project

Chinese search engine company Baidu has joined Hyperledger, a major project focusing on open-source blockchain-based solutions and tools.

Chinese Baidu Inc., which provides internet search solutions like Google, has become part of Hyperledger, a massive project which focuses on blockchain technology. The company announced this development yesterday, after joining the association as a major member. 

Baidu Vice President, Zhang Xuyang, said that blockchain could represent a significant change for Baidu’s services and that joining Hyperledger was a great move:

“We believe blockchain technology will allow us to better tailor our search technology to our users’ needs by enhancing the way we optimize local tastes and preferences. We're thrilled to be part of Hyperledger and look forward to collaborating with other members to drive open blockchain solutions forward.”

China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, a telecom corporation, is also a premier member of Hyperledger. The blockchain consortium includes Samsung Group and NEC Corp. from Asia region, IBM and Cisco from the US, and SAP SE and Airbus SE from the European continent.  

Commenting on the development, Hyperledger’s Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said: 

“It's exciting to see a company like Baidu, which serves the world's largest internet user population, join Hyperledger. Their deep understanding in connecting users to information and services will be tremendous experience for us to leverage as we look to expand our reach further in Asia and drive more global production deployments of Hyperledger technology.”

Just yesterday, Fortune reported that Baidu has serious plans to dominate the artificial intelligence market (AI). 

During a live conference organized by the Wall Street Journal, Baidu CEO and co-founder Robin Li said:

“We have entered a new age, the age of AI, and technology is important again. You need the best language processing tech, the best image recognition tech, the best data analysis…we are good at that.”

Li said that Baidu has invested about 15% or $1.5 billion in research & development, which is the highest figure among local tech giants. 

One example of Baidu’s expansion in the AI market is Apollo, the company’s platform that supports autonomous driving technologies.

Recently, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), being the first country to take action. The main reason for this radical decision was that ICOs proved very risky for unsuspecting investors. 

However, when it comes to blockchain technology, China remains open to new ideas and this move by Baidu is a positive step towards increased blockchain adoption in the country.