Summary of When It Comes to Blockchain, BAT Heads Are Saying One Thing and Doing Another

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In early March of 2018, delegates convened once again for the Chinese government’s Two Sessions program. This annual political ritual consists of two meetings: the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). While the NPC discusses the year’s agenda and passes legislation, the CPPCC includes notable businesspeople and celebrities to act as a kind of advisory board to the politicians. In 2018, the CPPCC featured many more tech entrepreneurs than in the previous years, and all gave interviews on the subject of blockchain technology. These meetings are scripted and choreographed to be politically correct. The reporter known simply as Amon, who writes for tech media site PingWest, takes this opportunity to compare what China’s big tech firms tell the press with their actual undertakings in blockchain. He encourages readers to look past official proclamations and arrive at conclusions based on a review of people’s actions. getAbstract recommends this article to readers interested in blockchain technology and its current developments and applications in China.

About the Author

Amon is a contributor to tech media site PingWest. He writes about technology, media and telecom as well as about the entertainment sector. 



The hype about blockchain technology has swept the entire globe, and China is no exception. But the jury is still out on whether blockchain will be a game changer or turn out to be a bubble. The subject came up multiple times during the Chinese government’s 2018 annual Two Sessions event. Officials were simultaneously intrigued by the possibilities and wary of losing control in what may become a regulatory nightmare. During the sessions, politicians naturally consulted the CEOs of leading tech companies. The CEOs’ responses in the sessions were cautious and conservative, but upon closer inspection it seems like they are telling the public only part of what they are doing.

During Two Sessions, Tencent CEO Ma “Pony Ma” Huateng praised the blockchain as a great innovation. In his opinion, the technology is best-suited to safeguard the unique identity of real-world entities, like a document or a receipt, by using digitalization and the blockchain to prevent tampering or reproduction. He considers initial coin offerings (ICOs), however, to be too risky. They are also facing too many regulatory problems. Tencent, he said, hasn...