In the company’s official statement on Tuesday, the JD.com blockchain accelerator program will be available from March and will seek to incubate startup blockchain startups – allowing them to scale their applications via integrations with JD’s different businesses within China, inclusive of the company’s e-commerce and logistics. The program referred to as AI Catapult will give a medium to developers to enhance their projects in Artificial Intelligence or blockchain technologies.
Beginning in March, AI Catapult, which is part of JD’s AI program, will partner with innovative blockchain startups to build new businesses and create and test real-world applications of their technologies at scale. Participating startups will have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of operational teams within JD which, in addition to being the largest retailer in its home market, also operates the largest nationwide last-mile logistics network,
-Read part of the statement from JD.
Six Startups Already Identified
Coindesk reports that six blockchain based startups have already been identified for the program. The startups from China, Australia, Singapore, US and the UK will be showcased as an example of how the program will ultimately be used. The firms cover a wide array of services, ranging from database to payment and identity platforms. The signing ceremony will be held in New York, where JD is traded, followed by a six month accelerator program starting in March. Bitcoin Magazine reports that the inaugural startups will also receive help in marketing, PR and international business development from JD.
In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Bowen Zhou, Vice President of JD’s AI Platform and Research Division said,
We are excited to work with some of the world’s most innovative startups to explore ways we can scale these cutting edge technologies for the future of retail and other industries, as well.
The program is the newest effort by JD to embrace blockchain technology in its operations. Late last year, JD inked a deal with the retail giant Walmart in a pilot project that uses blockchain technology in tracking food safety within the supply chain. Recently, JD logistics, the company’s supply chain wing, entered a transportation blockchain alliance to enhance the use of distributed ledgers in the logistics field.
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