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JD.com Establishes Blockchain & AI ‘Smart City’ Research Institute

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com’s finance division has launched a blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) focused research institute to concentrate on building so-called ‘smart cities and societies.’

The Nanjing-based Smart City Research Institute will attempt to find the most cost-effective and efficient ways of building tech-savvy cities through the utilization of blockchain, AI and big data solutions. It will collaborate with industrial construction operations; focused on China’s eastern region for the foreseeable future.

The Institute will research advanced intelligent solutions in the areas of urban environment, transportation, planning, energy consumption, commerce, security, healthcare, and e-government.

Jingdong Group, known more widely as JD.com, has been keen to make its mark in the blockchain sphere. Currently, it’s investing significant amounts of capital into a range of solutions, including logistics and supply chain, as well as launching its own blockchain-as-a-service platform. The company has focused its efforts roundly on e-commerce, finance, and logistics.

Smart Cities

Last month China-based insurance company Ping An Insurance released its own whitepaper dedicated to the infrastructure of smart cities, endorsing the use of blockchain alongside big data, AI, and cloud computing. The authors of “White Paper on Smart Cities” have said that it is dedicated to helping the Chinese government realize a new model where cities act as a service to the residents.

It boasts of proposing a plan which is both comprehensive and systematic, serving the needs of the country, society and people’s livelihood. Local news outlet People’s Daily reported on the paper describing it as a ”milestone significance” since the first smart city was officially proposed in 2008.

Ping An Insurance is one of the largest of its kind, in May this year being ranked as the third most valuable global financial services company in the world.

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