China’s Biggest Conglomerate Invests in Blockchain Startup Onchain

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China’s largest private conglomerate, Fosun, also one of the country’s most prolific investors, has bought a stake in a local blockchain startup.

According to Reuters, the Fosun Group is directly investing in Shanghai Distributed Technologies Co Ltd, the umbrella startup behind Onchain. Fosun was the sole investor in the Shanghai startup’s first round of fundraising. While declining to release the exact figures of its investment into the blockchain startup, the conglomerate confirmed the amount was “in the tens of millions of yuan.”

The Fosun group has operations and investments in a number of industries including steel, mining, real estate and more. It’s varied investment portfolio also sees the Fosun group own Wolverhampton Wanderers, a football club based in England. According to Shanghai Distributed Technologies Chief executive Da Hongfei, Fosun’s investment in his company will see the conglomerate look to apply blockchain technology across its businesses including financial services and pharmaceuticals.

Da, also Onchain’s CEO, is also the founder of the open-source public blockchain network NEO, formerly known as Antshares. Onchain currently uses the distributed network architecture (DNA) originally developed by NEO.

Speaking to Reuters, the blockchain executive opined that the money going in to invest in blockchain startups is, despite fears of an industry bubble, “worth it.”

He stated:

Definitely, there are bubbles. Perhaps 95 to 99 percent of projects are rubbish. But you don’t know. Some are technologically good projects. I think the money (going into blockchain) is worth it.

The investment comes at a time when China is fast becoming a hotbed for blockchain development. Earlier this year, China’s central bank opened its own digital currency institute amid a marked public effort by the authority to develop its own digital currency based on a blockchain. The Chinese government is also working on a blockchain platform to collect taxes and issue electronic invoices in return.

More recently, another prominent Chinese conglomerate, the Alibaba group, partnered the government of the city of Changzhou to trial a blockchain platform that will connect the city’s medical services infrastructure.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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