Ma Huateng, or "Pony Ma" as the CEO and Chairman of Chinese internet giant Tencent is popularly known, is enthusiastic about blockchain technology, and several projects undertaken by his company reflect this exuberance.
Tencent is the firm behind WeChat, a highly popular messaging app in China, which currently boasts about 1 billion active users.
In a recent post to a WeChat module called "Moments" (or "Friends' Circle," on Chinese versions of the platform), Ma declared, "The time has come for a blockchain to decentralize a network." The technology, he said, threatens to disrupt existing systems much like "the current TCP/IP, Packet Switching was able to defeat the giants such as AT&T."
In November 2017, Tencent launched a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform called TrustSQL, which offers clients the ability to "Build a safe and efficient solution based on scenario with self-controllable blockchain infrastructure," according to its website.
In September 2017, the company signed a letter of intent with Intel to jointly develop blockchain-integrated solutions for enterprise customers.
Other Tencent blockchain projects include a financial application that allows users to profit from increases in the price of gold, a service that helps small and medium-sized businesses to procure financing at a lower cost than they might otherwise be able to, and an app geared toward locating missing children.
Cai Yi, the general manager of Tencent's blockchain operations, said that the technology's greatest promise lies in its potential to deliver an internet of value, rather than an internet of information.
Another Chinese internet powerhouse, Baidu, announced the launch of its own BaaS platform in January 2018.
Quotes translated from Chinese using Google Translate.