Headquartered in Beijing, JD.com is one of the two largest business-to-consumer (B2C) online retailers in China by transaction volume and revenue. It controls roughly 30 percent of the B2C online market in China with 314 million active users. It is a member of the Fortune Global 500 and a major competitor to Alibaba-run Tmall.
Announced at a launch event in Beijing, the joint blockchain research lab has been launched with the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS). It will be led by Dr. Jian Pei, president of JD Big Data and Smart Supply Chain, Dr. Qiang Tang, assistant professor in the Ying Wu College of Computing at NJIT, and Dr. Zhenfeng Zhang, vice chief engineer at ISCAS. Both Dr. Tang and Dr. Zhang are leading experts in blockchain and cryptography.
The lab will focus on solving efficiency and stability challenges that are the most significant bottlenecks restricting the wider application of blockchain, and explore new applications of the technology, including long-term joint research efforts in fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection, and security in decentralized applications (DApps).
Pei said that their partnership with NJIT and ISCAS will leverage their respective strengths and resources to drive the continued development of blockchain technology and its wider deployment across many industries.
“With more than 300 million customers, JD.com recognizes the pivotal role being played by blockchain in improving transparency in the supply chain and delivering greater peace of mind to Chinese consumers about product quality and safety,” Pei said.
Dr. Joel S. Bloom, president of the NJIT, said that working with strong international partners is a clear recipe for success in this endeavor.
“NJIT is delighted to partner with one the leading e-commerce companies in the world and one of China’s premier research labs to work on cutting edge-blockchain and cybersecurity technologies,” Bloom said. “We look forward to working with JD and ISCAS to develop many different blockchain applications for a wide range of industries.”
JD has already made multiple forays into blockchain applications. In 2017, the company introduced its blockchain tracing platform that enables customers to track and trace the source and development process of the products and food they purchase.
In August of this year, it launched the JD Blockchain Open Platform to help enterprise customers easily build, host, and use their own blockchain applications for more secure, transparent and convenient operations management.
Last month, the retail giant established the Smart City Research Institute at its headquarters in Nanjing aimed at facilitating the development of smart city construction using innovative technologies, such as blockchain.