Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has launched a joint research lab for blockchain technologies in a move aimed at helping improve transparency in the supply chain and delivering greater peace of mind to Chinese consumers about product quality and safety.
The online retailer has partnered with the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).
The joint lab, launched at an event in Beijing last week, will focus on solving efficiency and stability challenges that are the most significant bottlenecks restricting the wider application of blockchain, and explore new applications of the technology. This will include multi-year collaborative research efforts into fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection and security in decentralised applications, among other areas.
The new lab will be led by Jian Pei, president of JD big data and smart supply chain, Qiang Tang, assistant professor in the Ying Wu College of Computing at NJIT, and Zhenfeng Zhang, vice chief engineer at ISCAS. Both Tang and Zhang are leading experts in blockchain and cryptography.
“JD.com is a pioneer in the utilisation of blockchain technology, and we are dedicated to exploring its potential by investing in the growth of the blockchain ecosystem through key strategic and research partnerships,” says Pei. “Our partnership with NJIT and ISCAS will leverage our respective strengths and resources to drive the continued development of this cutting-edge technology and its wider deployment across many industries.
“With more than 300 million customers, JD.com recognises the pivotal role being played by blockchain in improving transparency in the supply chain and delivering greater peace of mind to Chinese consumers about product quality and safety,” he said.
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Joel Bloom, president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, added: “NJIT is delighted to partner with one the leading e-commerce companies in the world and one of China’s premier research labs to work on cutting edge-blockchain and cybersecurity technologies.
“Working with strong international partners is a clear recipe for success in this endeavour. We look forward to working with JD and ISCAS to develop many different blockchain applications for a wide range of industries.”
In August, JD launched the JD Blockchain Open Platform to help enterprise customers easily build, host, and use their own blockchain applications for more secure, transparent and convenient operations management. The new platform enables customers to streamline their operational procedures and provide more visibility to consumers.