Image: Cointelegraph

Binance’s new blockchain research institute in China has forged a strategic partnership with a state-level supply-chain innovator to jointly develop digital infrastructure for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, Cointelegraph reported.  

Announced July 3, the institute’s new partner is Zhongshang Beidon; a state-level enterprise for supply-chain innovation that ultimately falls under the oversight of a ministerial-level organization known as the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC).

SASAC is under the direct management of China’s State Council, and is responsible for managing all 96 centrally administered state-owned enterprises in the country. 

As strategic partners, the Binance China Blockchain Institute and Zhongshang Beidou will cooperate on using blockchain technology to reconstruct supply-chain infrastructure as well as promoting industrial innovation and the development of China’s digital economy. 

They will collaborate on scientific research, joint project development and commercializing technological breakthroughs and platform construction. 

Zhongshang Beidou’s chairman Hongtao Duan said the enterprise is, “Committed to driving industry capitalization through information industrialization, bringing China-based brands to the capital markets and to the global audience. By applying blockchain technology to the supply-chain industry, it will also help protect and reshape the vintage brands and agricultural brands in China.”

Rapprochement?

As reported, Binance first launched its Shanghai-based research institute in March, in a sign that the exchange could be making tentative steps toward re-establishing its links with China. 

According to today’s announcement, the Binance China Blockchain Institute joined the United Nations Global Compact as a high-level UN partner in mid-June as part of efforts to facilitate Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

Other UNGC members include 15 major Chinese enterprises and institutions, among them the China Development Bank, Sinopec and the State Grid Corporation of China. 

With the cooperation of Zhongshang Beidou, the Binance China Blockchain Institute is also launching an initiative dubbed the “New Digital Infrastructure – Hundred Cities Thousand Enterprises Spark Project.” 

Through the Spark Project, the Institute will invest 100 million renminbi in over 1,000 micro- and SMEs over the next two years. These enterprises will be provided with access to the Binance ecosystem, helping them to build blockchain industry alliances and providing them with support for digital transformation.

A checkered history in China

Though it was founded in China, Binance left the country in the wake of Beijing’s crackdown on crypto-to-fiat trading and initial coin offerings in fall 2017. The government’s tough stance was soon consolidated by a string of further measures targeting the trading and issuance of decentralized cryptocurrencies.

In fall 2019, Binance made its first strategic Chinese investment since leaving the country. There have since been unconfirmed rumors that it could be seeking to open an office in Beijing. 

Also last fall, Binance launched peer-to-peer trading services for Chinese yuan pairings against bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT). 

In January 2020, the exchange committed to purchasing $1.4 million in medical supplies as part of its “Binance for Wuhan” project.

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