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Monday, 24 June 2019 00:16

China’s Wanxiang partners with PlatON to power ‘blockchain smart city’

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Chinese automotive component manufacturer Wanxiang has partnered with global privacy-preserving computing network PlatON to co-develop the data infrastructure for China’s largest smart city project in Hangzhou, slated for completion by 2025.

Under the deal, Wanxiang has pledged to invest US$29 billion over the course of the next decade to support the technological and infrastructural development in what the company says is envisaged to become China’s largest, most interconnected, blockchain-powered smart city.

Wanxiang says the PlatON blockchain-based network, selected for its scalability and privacy, will form the technological backbone of the city.

First announced in 2015, the Wanxiang Innova City will be built on 8.3 square kilometres on a premium riverfront site in Hangzhou, and will feature a “world class” International Research and Innovation Park, vast digital and ecological urban space, and Wanxiang’s advanced technology and manufacturing facilities for renewable energies and electric vehicles.

Built from scratch, the infrastructural blueprint of the smart city will use PlatON’s blockchain-based solution to track, transfer, and secure critical data such as resident identification cards and smart devices.

And PlatON’s blockchain solution will also be used to monitor driving behavioural data to train auto-driving systems, as well as to record and monitor electric vehicle life cycles, including their batteries to manage ecological waste efficiently, among other use cases.

Ada Xiao, chief strategy officer at PlatON, said: “As we work to realise a fully digitalised future, Wanxiang Smart City will come to set a global standard in the future of emerging technologies and how they will shape and govern the way we live, work, and play.

“With our use of Multi-Party Computation and other privacy-preserving technologies, we can ensure the privacy of sensitive data including digital identities of residents, smart equipment, and personal devices, as they interact with one another on a shared ledger. PlatON is proud to be driving this future-defining initiative and to lend its cloud-based blockchain solution to build Wanxiang Smart City.”

Through the use of PlatON’s next-generation computing network and public infrastructure, corporations and individuals in Wanxiang Smart City can connect different services for more efficient tracking of data, provide seamless transactions, and utilise public services transparently.

Once completed in 2025, 90,000 citizens are expected to live and work in Wanxiang City.

Vincent Wang, chief innovation officer at Wanxiang Holdings, said: “Imagine a smart transit system that tracks and rewards responsible driving behavior, or a renewable power grid that incentivizes energy generation and trading, or even a myriad of urban services that can be validated, built, and offered at ease without the constraints of rigid data silos.

“As we embark on the design and development of the various cutting edge elements of Innova City, we have come to realise that the key aspects of a forward-looking smart city; trust, synergy, and value creation, directly mirror the values of blockchain.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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