Today’s top tech news, September 4: China’s largest bank to use blockchain, Alibaba launches scholarship programme in Singapore

Yon Heong Tung
Today’s top tech news, September 4: China’s largest bank to use blockchain, Alibaba launches scholarship programme in Singapore

Also, Tencent-backed online movie ticketing platform Maoyan Weiying files for IPO, and more

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China set to adopt blockchain tech – [Cointelegraph]

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is set to develop blockchain technology, as part of its efforts to move towards “intelligent banking” and fintech applications.

ICBC is China — and the world’s — largest bank, with over 5,000 corporate and 530 million individual customers, and over US$3.5 trillion in assets.

In addition to blockchain, the bank will be developing other tech innovations such as AI, IoT and big data to strengthen its financial data security and improve its services.

Although the Chinese government is actively clamping down on cryptocurrency activities, it has taken a diametrically different stance on the development of blockchain. For example, it set up a US$1.5 billion fund dedicated towards blockchain development last month.

And today, a report by intellectual property media agency IPRdaily revealed that Chinese tech giant Alibaba — at 90 blockchain patents — has outpaced every other company globally in terms of the number of blockchain patents filed.

Alibaba to offer scholarship programme in Singapore – [TODAYOnline]

Alibaba is launching a postgraduate scholarship programme in Singapore that will focus on computer science R&D, according to a report by TODAYOnline.

This programme, called the Alibaba Talent Programme, was developed in partnership with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The PhD students will be able to participate in Alibaba- and university-led projects. They will also be able to use Alibaba research facilities, which include a joint Alibaba-NTU facility on NTU’s campus and the company’s campuses in China. The students will also be able to extract data samples and business scenarios from Alibaba for their work.

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The scholarship programme will be open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Applicants need to possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer science, electrical and electronic engineering, physics or other related fields.

The programme is expected to admit between 20 to 30 students for its first intake.

China online movie ticketing service Maoyan Weiying files for IPO – [TechCrunch]

Chinese online movie ticketing service Maoyan Weiying has filed for an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The Tencent-backed company aims to raise up to US$1 billion. The public offering will be led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Founded in 2016, the company has raised US$671 million to date. Besides providing online movie ticketing services, it co-finances and distributes films in China, including last year’s blockbuster “Transformers: The Last Knight”.

Alibaba-backed used car marketplace Souche raises US$578 million – [Bloomberg]

Chinese used car trading website Souche has raised US$578 million from a pool of investors including Primavera Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, Alibaba, Dreamfly Capital and ClearVue Partners, according to a report by Bloomberg

It will use the newly-raised funding to improve data analysation of the automotive industry; it will also expand its leasing programme.

Souche aims to build data-driven products and services for the car market and integrate them into its platform as service packages.

Thai government to develop digital wallet to store confiscated crypto assets – [e27 via The Nation]

Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office is developing a digital wallet that will store seized crypto assets.

Currently though, the country has no law that will allow authorities to seize crypto assets; only arrest the criminal who holds these assets.

The government will also have to figure out a way to identify the perpetrator, since crypto asset transactions — such as the purchase of bitcoin online — are designed to help both the sending and receiving party remain anonymous.


Image Credit: Iakov Kalinin

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