Blockchain and Smart Cities: On the Way to the Second Capital of China

On Oct. 14, Peng Yijie, a powerful Chinese businessman, visited Chen Gang, the Communist Party Secretary of Xiong'an New Area and Vice Governor of Hebei Province.

Peng reported the potential of Blockchain technology to Secretary Chen, trying to persuade him to cooperate on promoting Blockchain innovation in Xiong’an New Area.

Smart city

During the meeting, Peng said that Xiong’an New Area is the best place to test Blockchain’s ability in city construction. With Blockchain, Xiong’an can better achieve its goal of being a “smart city”.

Peng Yijie, vice president of the Ant Financial Service Group and co-founder of the Alibaba Group Holding Limited, offered a design plan for Xiong’an. Blockchain would be used in the areas of community services, government affairs, and business. Yijie’s company would assist the local government in building a better city.

Secretary Chen approved Ant Financial’s work. He said that the plan made by the company will help the Xiong’an government to better organize the city. Nevertheless, he believed that there’s still room for improvement. He suggested to the company that they focus more on user experience and the credit system – in other words, the technology should always serve the people.

Largest Chinese company

Ant Financial Service Group, formerly known as Alipay, is an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, which is one of the most important and largest companies in China. The market value of the Alibaba Group exceeded $400 bln in July 2017. Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, is one of the most famous Chinese people in the world, and is ranked as the second most powerful man in China by CNN.

Second Chinese capital

Xiong’an New Area, the proud achievement of the President of China, Xi Jinping, is a state-level new area established in April 2017. It’s expected to be the development hub for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic triangle, as well as the country’s second capital.

To be more precise, President Xi wants to migrate the “non-core” functions of the Chinese capital to Xiong’an New Area. Since Xiong’an New Area was established from the direct order from Xi, people normally see Xiong’an as a symbol of Xi’s accomplishments. Consequently, the development of Xiong’an is vital.

Powerful union

So, the largest company owned by the second most powerful man in China is planning to promote Blockchain in the “second capital” built by the most powerful man in China. Of course, the cooperation is still under negotiation.

But, if Blockchain plays a significant role in the construction of Xiong’an, will it be used in other Chinese cities in future?