Tencent Steps Into Blockchain Trade Finance Space In B2B Push

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Chinese conglomerate Tencent is the latest to step into the blockchain trade finance space via its FinTech unit Tencent Financial Technology, according to reports in China Daily on Friday (Nov. 2).

The company announced plans to develop a blockchain-powered supply chain finance solution, WeChain, which Tencent Blockchain general business manager Aaron Cai said “will empower medium and small-sized enterprises, helping to get out of the financing predicament.”

Tencent is collaborating with Linklogis to build the solution, reports said. Corporate users of Tencent’s WeChat platform will be able to access trade finance with their mobile devices, with Tencent eying blockchain to promote data security and credibility in trade finance processes.

“Different from the traditional supply chain finance, the new platform incorporating blockchain could spread a core enterprise’s good credit to each level of the industrial chain, which is extremely beneficial for small and middle-sized enterprises,” said Linklogis managing director Ji Kun in another statement.

Its focus on trade finance and SMB services marks Tencent’s recent restructuring and refocus on B2B operations. Last month reports in China Channel pointed to Tencent’s earlier restructuring announcement, which Tencent CEO Pony Ma described as “a new starting point for Tencent’s next 20 years.”

Late last year Ma also emphasized Tencent’s upcoming focus on B2B.

“From the management side, the biggest challenge we face is internal organization,” he said during an annual internal staff meeting last December, according to the publication. “Right now Tencent needs to get better at doing B2B.”

“Many people said we only have ‘B2C’ in our DNA,” added Tencent president Martin Lau during that meeting. “B2B is not in our blood. I don’t believe that. I think that every evolutionarily successful species holds characteristics that weren’t there at the beginning but were evolved over time.”

Reports pointed to Tencent’s cloud services as a focal point for the company’s enterprise-facing operations as it works to compete with industry rival Alibaba, which offers its own Alibaba Cloud enterprise cloud services.