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China’s Communist Party eyes blockchain for ‘decentralizing’ social services


Beijing’s strategic vision is to use blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, big data and 5G in social assistance system reforms.

The Chinese Communist Party has identified blockchain as a key tool for its innovation of nationwide social services.

On Aug. 25, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the General Office of the State Council issued a lengthy policy paper that provides regional departments with guidance on reforming and improving China’s social assistance system.

The document ostensibly reflects a “people-centered approach” in the spirit of the Party’s 19th National Congress, with a comprehensive strategy for providing basic social protections and services, emergency relief and distributing resources.

Key to this vision is the role played by modern technologies and digitization, which the Party addresses throughout the paper, and analyzes in a section devoted to decentralization reforms.

This section addresses state officials, enterprises, institutions, grass-roots mass organizations and social organizations. They are asked to report to country-level officials should they face obstacles to providing basic support and assistance to local communities. 

For this to work, the Party notes it is gradually working towards establishing nationwide connectivity and digitizing social security systems. Its strategic vision is to use blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, big data and 5G in social assistance provisions.

The Party plans to rely on a national data sharing and exchange system and to improve its database and information management for social assistance carried out by governmental departments and other regional organizations.

Blockchain technology and other innovations are proving to be a consistent cornerstone of Chinese state policy. 

Just yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Huawei and Beijing’s municipal government have jointly developed a blockchain directory for use across urban governance. 

Beijing’s municipal government expects ordinary people to become the direct beneficiaries of the new infrastructure, which integrates blockchain technology into a “smart city” strategic framework.

In parallel, developers working on China’s nationwide blockchain project — the Blockchain Service Network — this week confirmed plans to integrate stablecoins as means of payment for services within the enterprise blockchain ecosystem.

The People’s Bank of China’s test run of its forthcoming digital currency has been conducted for small retail transactions in Beijing, as well as Tianjin and Hebei provinces.

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