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IBM Trials Further Supply Chain Blockchains For Chinese Markets

IBM has announced a further supply chain blockchain for operators in Chinese markets, this time in the pharmaceuticals industry.

The tech giant has today launched its Yijian Blockchain Technology Application System, a trade finance blockchain developed in partnership with Chinese supply chain consultancy Hejia, in a move that cements its position as one of the foremost leaders in the blockchain space.

Pharmaceutical companies in China can experience a range of difficulties in obtaining financing, in large part a result of the country’s underdeveloped credit scoring and risk evaluation mechanisms.

With the launch of the new blockchain, IBM and its partners are hoping to eliminate many of these traditional problems in the pharmaceutical supply chain, particularly for retailers as they look to raise capital from their supply chain.

The system is expected to significantly reduce the turnaround time for processing and receiving payments.

By facilitating encrypted records on drugs delivery and ordering, the technology is designed to allow the freer flow of capital throughout the supply chain, while reducing the lead time on payments for drugs delivered to hospitals.

IBM’s vice-president of blockchain solutions, Ramesh Gopinath, said this particular use case was demonstrative of the flexibility of IBM’s blockchain technology.

"Blockchain is perfect for the kind of flow that happens between three parties. It's not a random thing, we see a pattern of this appearing again and again…It's more like there are all these classic, what I would call, great use cases starting up in different places."

The Yijian technology is the latest move from IBM in the Chinese market, as it seeks to confirm its position as a market leader for blockchain development in China.

Earlier this year, IBM announced a new blockchain solution for environmentally friendly investment management, a tool designed to allow for easier transactions in carbon markets.

This builds on a number of other platforms rolled out by the company, including an earlier partnership with the Postal Savings Bank of China and a deal with Walmart over pork supply, both relying on similar blockchain solutions.

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