JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut and Alibaba’s closest rival, is launching a new accelerator program for artificial intelligence and blockchain startups, the company said today.
Despite being an e-commerce company, JD already operates a sponsored AI research lab called the SAIL JD AI Research Institute with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In Dec. 2017, JD along with IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E-Commerce Technologies announced a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance collaboration to improve food tracking and safety in China, Forbes reported.
The Beijing-based accelerator, called AI Catapult, will have startups work with its operational teams to “test real-world applications of their technologies at scale” a public statement said. The inaugural roster of companies includes the Chinese fintech company, Bankorous; Australia’s cryptocurrency CanYa; Bluzelle, a blockchain-powered database service based in Singapore; London-based Nuggets, the e-commerce payments and ID platform built on blockchain; and Devery, a blockchain powered, open-source, product verification protocol.
In 2016, JD recorded about $100 billion in gross merchandise value; JD will announce its full-year results for 2017 in March. Walmart and JD also signed a strategic partnership in 2016 to combine their resources in China. JD has over 266 million customers, and expects to invest in the growth of the AI and blockchain ecosystem through future commercial, strategic and research partnerships, the company said.
AI Catapult will also help JD’s AI research division find new ways to use AI to improve blockchain technology, with a particular focus in areas including scalability, security, privacy, efficiency and energy consumption. “[This] will bring not only business benefits but positive social impact as well,” the statement said.
For original report , please refer to : https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmasandler/2018/02/27/chinese-retailer-jd-com-launches-blockchain-accelerator/#4b5e8ee25516