China’s Search Engine Giant Baidu Launches Blockchain Open Platform

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Baidu's Beijing officeImage credit: Baidu’s Beijing office by Jon Russell via Flickr

Baidu, China’s search engine giant, has launched its very own blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offering. The new open platform intends to provide the “most user-friendly blockchain tool” to businesses.

According to the dedicated webpage, Baidu Trust is “a self-developed project based on blockchain technology.”

The platform allows “safe, efficient and low cost traceability and trading, ideal for digital currency, payment and settlement, digital ticketing, bank credit management, insurance management, financial auditing, and more,” the webpage reads.

Baidu claims the technology has already been successfully implemented for asset securitization and asset exchange.

Baidu has been an early adopter of cryptocurrency, announcing in October 2013 it was accepting payment in bitcoin for its Jiasule service. In October 2017, the firm joined the Hyperledger open source collaborative effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

The launch of Baidu’s BaaS platform follows the release of Tencent’s own suite of blockchain services in November 2017. Guo Rui, Tencent’s vice president of payment platform and financial applications in a forum in Chengdu, said back then the firm “independently developed a complete set of bottom-layer blockchain protocols and actively participated in the formulation of credible blockchain standards for China Institute of Information and Communications.”

Alibaba too has spent a lot of efforts on blockchain technology, founder and chairman Jack Ma told CNBC in December 2017. The firm made headlines in March 2017 when it announced a partnership with PwC to develop a system to reduce food fraud using blockchain technology

Ant Financial, Alibaba’s payment affiliate and the operator of online payment platform Alipay, launched a blockchain-powered charity platform called Ant Love two years ago. The service allows users to donate to various charitable group and non-government organizations using Alipay.

Alibaba’s health affiliate AliHealth, has rolled out a new service in cooperation with the Changzhou city government to integrate blockchain technology with the city’s hospital system to store and transmit medical data with encryption protection.

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