Sunday 31 July 2016 1:54 pm

China’s Ant Financial is testing out blockchain technology


I'm City A.M.'s award-winning technology editor, covering everything from happenings at Apple and Google to the latest London startup. In particular fintech, blockchain, artifical intelligence, driverless cars, virtual reality and the sharing economy get me out of bed in the morning. I'm always trying to illustrate stories with pictures of dogs. Sometimes with some success. I was named technology journalist of the year at the UK Tech Awards.

I'm City A.M.'s award-winning technology editor, covering everything from happenings at Apple and Google to the latest London startup. In particular fintech, blockchain, artifical intelligence, driverless cars, virtual reality and the sharing economy get me out of bed in the morning. I'm always trying to illustrate stories with pictures of dogs. Sometimes with some success. I was named technology journalist of the year at the UK Tech Awards.

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Ant Financial, the Chinese fintech giant spun off from Alibaba, is testing out blockchain technology for the first time to build a more transparent process for donating money.

The group's charity platform, Ant Love, will use blockchain technology to track donations to one project being funded via the site.

“We are trying to bring small and beautiful changes to users with this pilot," said Ant Financial's Cheng Li at the fintech Bund Summit held in Shanghai.

Read more: French bank BPCE acquires hot fintech challenger Fidor

“If used properly, the trust element in blockchain technology might help build a charity platform that is more trusted, open and transparent in the future.”

Blockchain is a distributed ledger which undepins the cryptocurrency bitcoin, but the technology is being applied more widely to other value transactions such as gold and diamonds. It creates an immutable record of a transaction which is transparent and can be tracked.

Ant Financial is the second largest private tech company in the world behind Uber and operates the Pay Pal-esque Alipay online payment platform which boasts hundreds of millions of users and a 68 per cent market share in China. It also runs its own money market fund and private bank.

Read more: Santander's added $100m to its fintech venture fund

“We firmly believe that technology is key to promote equal access to financial services in China and beyond," said Ant Financial president Eric Jing speaking at the same conference.


“We have developed a wide range of products and services, covering payments, loans, insurance, and wealth management. With all our products, our aim is to simplify the process for our customers, giving access to financial services to the many, not the few.”

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