Tencent’s WeBank Collaborates with Macao Over Smart City-Focused Blockchain, AI Initiatives

WeBank, the digital bank of China’s Internet giant Tencent, has
signed a collaboration agreement with the Macao Science and Technology
Development Fund (FDCT), an initiative established by the Macao government,
over the development of smart city projects on the areas of infrastructure,
public services, government administration, and talent training.

Under the agreement, the two parties will collaborate on
fintech projects to promote the “futuristic urban development” of the Macao SAR
leveraging blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing
and other technologies, to enhance the science and technology capabilities of
the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

“In this collaboration, we will utilize innovative
technologies such as blockchain as a fulcrum to strengthen the technological
innovation capabilities of the [Macao] SAR government, to promote the
development of the smart city, and to benefit people’s livelihood through
science and technology,” Ma Chi Ngai, president of Administration Committee of
FDCT, said in a statement.

“Through the strong collaboration and mutual support, we
will take full advantage the Greater Bay Area’s strength in technological
innovation to inject new vitality into the region […] and develop [the Macao]

Henry Ma, executive vice president and CIO of WeBank, said
in a speech that the two parties will jointly explore new models of cooperation
between the public and private sectors. He expects the partnership to provide “a
meaningful reference for all enterprises and individuals committed to the development
of the Greater Bay Area.”

The first collaborative project will be based on WeIdentify,
an entity identity authentication and data exchange solution which leverages
blockchain technology. WeBank will provide technical support for e-government
services in Macao and focus on enhancing the service experience of Macao

WeBank has been exploring blockchain and distributed ledger
technology since 2015. In 2016, the company started expanding its blockchain
implementation after initiating the Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium. The
consortium has since developed dozens of applications covering finance, supply
chains, intellectual property management, all based on its open source
blockchain platform FISCO Blockchain Open Source.

WeBank unveiled
in September 2018 plans to build a blockchain-based business ecosystem. One of the
company’s major applications of blockchain technology is its interbank
reconciliation platform for its micro-loan product Weilidai, integrated into
Tencent’s popular social networking app WeChat.

By the end of August 2018, 15 million interbank reconciliations
had taken place through its blockchain platform with three banking partners
since going live in August 2016.

WeBank’s partnership with the Macao government follows a
research collaboration agreement the company signed
with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in January. The collaboration
focuses on opening a research center aimed at helping customers manage their
finances in real-time wherever they.

NTU research scientists and engineers from WeBank will also
study how to provide personalized wealth management advice to customers, among
other projects, in the five-year partnership. Technologies including blockchain
and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) will come under the microscope as well.

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