Tech giant Huawei is jointly developing a blockchain-based system with the Beijing municipal government for urban governance, state run news outlet People’s Daily said on 24 August.
According to the announcement, the government project is part of China’s “New Infrastructure Initiative”, which aims to improve the government services, and support the city’s business environment through the use of blockchain technology. Throughout 2019, Huawei’s cloud services branch has been working closely with Beijing’s government, to create a blockchain system directory, which can be used to connect the city’s 50 municipal departments, and support cross-departmental sharing and management of data.
While still under trial, the new platform can be used by the government for monitoring COVID-19 cases, in real estate management, road parking services, and for utilities provision, such as gas, water and electricity. These abilities and enabled by Huawei’s proprietary Cloud Blockchain, which supports real-time data management and feedback, data synchronization and exchange, permissioned access management and traceability.
The interest in blockchain technology is only part of Beijing’s “New Infrastructure Initiative”. Other technologies that are being explored, to enhance the urban innovation and governance, include Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, as well as cloud computing. In the report, the Beijing government further claims that the new infrastructure development will directly benefit ordinary people.
Although one of the largest tech firms in China, Huawei’s connections to the government have brought it heavy scrutiny and resistance from the western world. Back in May, the U.S. government banned Huawei’s major semiconductor suppliers from selling chips to the company. The U.S. and U.K. have further barred local telecom firms from using the firm’s 5G technology and devices, citing national security reasons.