The blockchain market in China is growing at a rapid pace, and it’s worth becoming familiar with the top 10 blockchain stocks in China.
China wants to be an industry leader, and President Xi Jinping praised the technology in 2018. “The new generation of information technology represented by artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information, mobile communication, internet of things, and blockchain is accelerating breakthroughs in its range of applications,” he noted.
More recently, at the UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference in the fall of 2021, Xi spoke about the importance of blockchain technology to his country’s transport sector. “More should be done to develop smart transport and smart logistics and promote deep integration of new technologies like big data, the Internet, AI and blockchain with the transport sector, to ensure easier movement of people and smoother flow of goods,” he said.
The Chinese government is also embracing blockchain as a way to strengthen its cybersecurity infrastructure. Analyst Kai von Carnap of the Mercator Institute for China Studies recently commented that in 2020 “blockchain applications for government services represented more than one fourth of all blockchain applications developed in China." He added that the technology is supported at the national, provincial and city government levels.
What’s more, nearly 27,500 new Chinese companies used blockchain technology in 2020, up 52 percent from 2018. This dramatic increase came in part due to Xi’s endorsement of the technology.
Of course, the ban on cryptocurrency trading in China means that the many of the nation’s blockchain firms have lost out on the big gains the emerging sector has made in the past few years.
However, as Bloomberg highlighted in mid-2021, that’s allowed China’s blockchain companies to remain “relatively unscathed” by market fallout associated with trading digital tokens. And interestingly, China hasn’t fully turned away from digital currency — the People’s Bank of China has made a digital version of the yuan, which it controls. China’s Central Bank recently launched a wallet app to expand the adoption of its domestic digital currency.
Additionally, Fortune has pointed out that the Chinese government “is pursuing other uses of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — as long as the technology stays under its control.”
With China poised for long-term growth in the blockchain industry and positioned to be a global leader, investors in the space should be familiar with the Chinese blockchain stocks that are driving the market.
Below is an overview of 10 blockchain stocks in China. The companies are listed from largest to smallest in terms of market cap, and all data was accurate as of May 17, 2022.
1. Alibaba Group Holdings (HKEX:9988,NYSE:BABA)
Market cap: CNY 1.947 trillion
Alibaba Group Holdings is an ecommerce, retail, internet, AI and tech company with a focus on providing consumer, business and sales services through the internet, as well as electronic payment services.
Alibaba tops this list of blockchain stocks in China, and its affiliate Ant Group owns the largest digital payment platform in China. Ant Group was recently named a Top 100 Global Innovator 2022 by Clarivate. “In 2021, Ant Group obtained over 6,600 new patents globally,” states a press release. “Since 2017, the number of patents held by Ant Group has increased near 38 times to over 15,000 in less than five years.”
2. China Merchants Bank (HKEX:3968,SZSE:600036)
Market cap: CNY 1.159 trillion
China Merchants Bank is a commercial bank with operations in China and overseas. The financial institution offers corporate and personal banking services and has three segments; the first two are wholesale finance and retail finance, and the third segment includes investment real estate, subsidiary operations and joint ventures.
In mid-2021, China Merchants Bank launched a US$50 million blockchain-focused investment fund with blockchain developer Nervos Foundation. The fund invests mainly in early and growth-stage blockchain startups focused on decentralized finance protocols, distributed ledger platforms and NFT-related projects.
3. Ping An Insurance Company of China (HKEX:2318,OTC Pink:PIAIF)
Market cap: CNY 926.044 billion
Ping An Insurance Company of China became the first Chinese company to join the R3 blockchain consortium back in 2016. R3 is a firm working on how blockchain can be applied in the financial markets.
In February 2022, Ping An Insurance was named to Forbes’ fourth annual Blockchain 50 list, mainly due to the success of its subsidiary OneConnect's blockchain financing platform FiMAX.
4. JD.com (HKEX:9618,NASDAQ:JD)
Market cap: CNY 670.928 billion
Ecommerce company JD.com launched a blockchain platform in 2018. Through its fintech arm, JD Finance, the company is focusing on five areas in blockchain: value innovation, supply chain, trusted networks, digital evidence storage and financial technology. JD.com has already launched blockchain solutions for the pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries, and is working with China’s central bank on cryptocurrency advancements.
More recently, the company released a series of fintech products, including the JD Bio-Asset Supervision Platform, which integrates AI, big data, blockchain, internet of things and other digital technologies.
5. Postal Savings Bank of China (HKEX:1658)
Market cap: CNY 561.134 billion
Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) provides commercial retail banking and financial services in China. PSBC has three main business segments: personal banking, corporate banking and financial markets.
6. Baidu (HKEX:9888,NASDAQ:BIDU)
Market cap: CNY 329.793 billion
Baidu was established in 2000. Its area of expertise is internet-related services and products and, most importantly, AI. Baidu is known for being one of the world’s largest AI and internet companies across the globe.
Baidu offers a blockchain-as-a-service platform and is patenting blockchain technology for payment security. In late 2021, the company revealed it is developing its own metaverse, XiRang (a virtual world also known as Land of Hope). The application will be accessible on computers, smartphones and wearable devices. Users can create an avatar and interact in real time with other users.
7. China CITIC Bank (HKEX:0998)
Market cap: CNY 240.241 billion
Based in Hong Kong, China CITIC Bank is a full-service commercial bank that provides a broad spectrum of financial services and products to domestic and international business with branches in the US and across Asia.
CITIC recently launched a blockchain payments platform to facilitate payments in the construction industry, particularly between builders and material suppliers.
8. Hundsun Technologies (SHA:600570)
Market cap: CNY 54.575 billion
Hundsun Technologies is primarily focused on software products and services, in addition to data for financial entities, mostly in mainland China, Japan, the US and Hong Kong. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba — a company whose blockchain activities are discussed above — invested US$532 million in Hundsun Technologies back in 2014.
In terms of China’s blockchain industry, Hundsun Technologies is a pioneer in the technology. One of its first forays included forming a strategic partnership with startup Symbiont, a company that provides smart contracts for institutional blockchain applications.
9. ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance (HKEX:6060)
Market cap: CNY 40.69 billion
ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance, China’s largest online-only insurance company, is developing its own blockchain-based insurance process. The company partners with product distribution companies to sell supplementary insurance, like shipping returns and damage cover.
ZhongAn was established in 2013 by three co-founders: Jack Ma of Alibaba, Tencent’s (HKEX:0700,OTC Pink:TCTZF) Pony Ma and Ping An Insurance’s Mingzhe Ma.
10. GRG Banking Equipment (SZSE:002152)
Market cap: CNY 22.2 billion
GRG Banking Equipment is focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and distributing automatic currency processing equipment and system software. Its products include automatic teller machines (ATMs), automatic fare collection systems and money sorters. GRG has dominated China's ATM sector for over a decade.
The company is integrating AI applications aimed at finance, transportation, security and convenience retail. Its dip into the blockchain space includes introducing ATMs that provide exchange services for cryptocurrencies backed by blockchain. It has also created a digital asset management system, a blockchain-based VIP identity authentication system and a hard wallet.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2018.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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