Alibaba rolls out blockchain pilot to tackle fake food products


Beijing, May 1 (TNS): Shoppers in China can now get a definitive answer on whether a product they’ve just bought is fake or legit – by simply scanning a code with their phones.

It’s part of a new trial that Alibaba has just rolled out, using an incorruptible blockchain database – the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – to track an authentic item going from a manufacturer to a consumer.

Alibaba, China’s online shopping giant, is initially trialling its fakes-fighter with food items imported from Australia and New Zealand.

Once the item arrives with the buyer in China, he or she can scan a special QR code to see the blockchain-verified database that shows it’s a genuine product.

The goal of the program – first announced in theory in March 2017 – is to use the blockchain database to “achieve end-to-end supply chain traceability and transparency to enhance consumer confidence and build a trusted environment for cross-border trade,” said Alibaba in a statement.

Alibaba archrival JD has its own blockchain pilot focused on foodstuffs and medicines.

Companies worldwide are set to double their spending on blockchain technologies in 2018 – to US$2.1 billion – as the database system finds more and more use cases. That expenditure will rocket to US$9.7 billion in 2021, according to a report from IDC.

Many firms are tapping blockchain tech “to develop innovative solutions that improve processes such as post-trade processing, tracking and tracing shipments in the supply chain, and transaction records for auditing and compliance,” says IDC’s Bill Fearnley Jr.

Courtesy: Tech in Asia