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China's forex regulator SAFE expands blockchain cross-border financing pilot to 19 provinces

Tue, 12 Nov 2019, 11:12 am UTC

China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), an administrative agency under the State Council, has expanded its blockchain-based cross-border financing pilot program, GlobalTimes reported.

Launched in March this year, the platform is targeted at companies engaged in cross-border business and provides them with accounts receivable financing services for exports and information verification services. From the initial 9 provinces and cities where the pilot was launched, it has now expanded to cover 19 provinces and cities.

Citing a report from the Shanghai Securities News, GlobalTimes said that all branches of 20 commercial banks in these 19 provinces and cities have been allowed to operate on the trial platform in addition to local bureaus of SAFE as of October-end.

From its launch in March to late October, the platform has processed 6,370 transactions, which includes the issuance of $6.8 billion worth of loans. The client list has also grown to include 1,262 companies, 70 percent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The platform has significantly reduced transaction processing time from one or two days to 15 minutes. This improvement is achieved through the blockchain platform developed by the ZhongChao Blockchain Technology Research Institute based in Hangzhou.

The expansion of the pilot program follows the recent endorsement of blockchain technology by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) leader urged agencies to implement this innovative technology to streamline and enhance their operations.

SAFE’s blockchain initiative is one of the two most influential blockchain projects in China’s financial sector. The other one is the Greater Bay Area trade finance blockchain platform spearhead by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

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