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This Chinese start-up is releasing baijiu on the blockchain

China has a growing number of companies with blockchain in their name

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
We’ve seen CryptoBunnies, blockchain phones, and even a blockchain toothbrush. And the family is still expanding. A start-up that makes baijiu -- the fiery Chinese liquor -- says it will be releasing “the world’s first baijiu on the blockchain”.
Guxiaojiu didn’t really explain how it works in the announcement, except that it uses “blockchain tracking technology”. A company executive said in a repost that blockchain helps them solve counterfeit problems.
“The world’s first baijiu on the blockchain,” read’s the poster. (Picture: Guxiaojiu)

Ecommerce companies are using blockchain to help with quality control. The nature of blockchain means that information about each stage of a product’s supply chain can’t be altered or destroyed, and is clear for people to see.

Alibaba experiments with blockchain to track food provenance

That’s one of the real world uses of blockchain, but there seems to be many companies that are simply taking advantage of the buzzword. From January to July 16, China has seen six times the number of companies with “blockchain” in their name compared with the full year of 2017. (Of course, whether they actually use blockchain or not is unclear.)
Guxiaojiu was started last year by an ex-Xiaomi executive, boasting staff with tech backgrounds and an online sales model -- similar to Xiaomi’s early years. Guxiaojiu’s products are only available on Xiaomi’s online shopping site, which led many to believe it’s part of the Xiaomi ecosystem -- a network of hardware companies Xiaomi has stakes in. But Xiaomi has denied to Chinese media that it has any financial ties with Guxiaojiu.
Weibo users were mostly dismissive about the idea. One says, “Who would want to make a counterfeit version of a brand nobody knows? This is just a gimmick.”

Another user likened it to the speculative trading of cryptocurrencies, writing sarcastically: “Does it have a global ranking? Do people benefit from those who buy after them?”

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.