Fintech giant Ant Group has entered a strategic agreement to bring its blockchain-driven supply chain financing solutions to the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan.
Ant Group (formerly Ant Financial) and Yunnan International Trust (云南信托) entered a strategic cooperative agreement on 10 July to “make use of the technological vitalisation role of blockchain with regard to supply chain financing.”
The cooperative agreement will focus in particular on resolving the financing difficulties of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
During the spread of COVID-19 in China Yunnan International Trust made use of Ant Group’s blockchain technology to help provide supply chain financing to upstream SME’s (pharmaceutical suppliers) of Shenzhen-listed Realcan Pharmaceutical (瑞康医药).
Local sources said to China Securities that the agreement marks an acceleration of efforts to integrate “blockchain + supply chain financing + industry” in China, and there was a huge market for blockchain-driven supply chain financing given that it would serve as a key channel for driving financial inclusion amongst smaller companies.
Figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast annual compound growth in China’s supply-chain financing market of 5.2% during the period from 2019 to 2025, and for the market to approach 20 trillion yuan in scale by 2025.