JD.com, China’s largest retailer online or offline, has launched a joint research lab for blockchain technologies 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).
The joint lab, which was announced at a launch event in Beijing, 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. This will include multi-year collaborative research efforts into fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection and security in decentralized applications, among other areas.
The new lab 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.
“JD.com is a pioneer in the utilization of blockchain technology, and we are dedicated to exploring its potential by investing in the growth of the blockchain ecosystem through key strategic and research partnerships,” Dr. Pei said. “Our partnership with NJIT and ISCAS will leverage our respective strengths and resources to drive the continued development of this cutting-edge 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,” he said.
Dr. Joel S. Bloom, president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, said, “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.
“Working with strong international partners is a clear recipe for success in this endeavor. We look forward to working with JD and ISCAS to develop many different blockchain applications for a wide range of industries,” he said.
Zhong Hua, deputy director of the Software Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said “Through this partnership we will bring about blockchain innovation and promote industrial applications of blockchain technology.”
In August, JD 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. The new platform enables customers to streamline their operational procedures and provide more visibility to consumers. In addition, JD has partnered with Walmart, IBM, and Tsinghua University to launch the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance which focuses on enhancing food traceability, and safety in China.