Baidu Baike has recently launched its blockchain product to enhance the credibility and transparency of entry editing on its site.
Similar to Wikipedia, Baidu Baike (meaning Baidu Encyclopedia), is the world’s largest online Chinese encyclopedia. It is a product under China’s internet giant Baidu and it shares features with Wikipedia such as an editing model that makes it open and accessible to netizens.
The open editing model means that all users can edit and modify the entries once they create and log in with a Baidu account. While ensuring openness, the entry editing by users has always brought with it problems of accuracy and neutrality. Therefore, it is essential for such online collaborations to ensure that the information being uploaded is accurate, and that the revision history and editing sources are traceable.
Baidu‘s solution of using blockchain technology to record revision history is a good effort on the company’s part.
The consensus mechanism and tamper-resistant feature of blockchain ensures that every piece of recorded information cannot be doctored and may be referred to at any time.
Whenever a user edits an entry and saves it in Baidu Baike, it will automatically generate a series of blockchain information which includes the version number, the editor’s account name, as well as the latest editing time.
While querying the entry, all users can also see the revision history of the entry, reason for each revision and the editor’s information, all of which will be recorded in the blockchain and cannot be altered.
The platform can also rate the users according to their editing quality and contribution frequency, and other users may also find out the contribution of a certain user through the blockchain database.
Wikipedia, on the other hand still keeps a record of revision history and does user ratings in the traditional way. With gaining popularity, the blockchain technology has been widely used in logistics, medical care and finance. It is believed that Wikipedia will also make use of blockchain in the near future.
As a one-size-fits-all ICO regulation takes effect in China’s domestic market, the heat of cryptocurrency trade has declined. However, the research and exploration of blockchain technology has never stopped. This is also despite the central authority issuing a White Paper regulating developments of blockchain, with the following blockchain-related guidance issued by several major provinces and cities. Major banks such as PBoC has also been actively searching for the possibility of applying blockchain to the financial sector.
Chinese internet giants have also made their advancement in blockchain in an attempt to integrate these technologies into their main business amongst the enthusiasm and freshness of this new phenomenon.
Baidu: Pets & Photo Applications
Baidu has multiple approaches in the blockchain field, having launched three applications: “Letts Dogs”, the pet-related service meaning a digital dog, “Totem”, the blockchain photo platform, and an app “Degree Universe.”
The Letts dog is Baidu’s first blockchain product. It is an encrypted pet product based on the blockchain technology. As for the name Letts dog, Baidu interprets it as Let’s GO. The value of each Letts dog is determined by the rank of its rarity, and the higher the rank, the smaller the number. To obtain the digital dog, you need to log in with a Baidu account and download the app.
Totem uses the tamper-resistant feature of blockchain to protect the copyright of pictures, which is now the most applicable function of blockchain technology. The copyright information of each picture is written into blockchain and the usage of each picture becomes traceable with the help of Baidu‘s picture recognition technology. Creators can see how each picture is reposted and reused.
Alibaba: Public Interest and Supply Chain Management
Although without any specific blockchain products, Alibaba has the largest number of blockchain patents in China and has acquired profound technological accumulation in the blockchain field. It is constantly trying to figure out how to apply them in reality.
Earlier this year, Alipay launched the ant blockchain to explore the application of blockchain in the areas of public interest and supply chain management. At present, it has engaged in partnerships with Tsinghua University and Hundsun Technologies.
Tencent: Digital Assets, Smart Contracts and Sharing Economy; Social Media Posts
Tencent does not have a specific blockchain product yet, however it has done a lot of relevant research.
In April 2017, Tencent released a white paper on blockchain. It also launched its own blockchain project: Tencent Blockchain, which focuses on exploring the application of blockchain technologies in digital assets, smart contracts and sharing economy.
Based on the social media platform of Wechat, Tencent has also opened “Blockchain Inspector”, a blockchain-related WeChat official account for regularly publishing blockchain-related news articles. The number of its followers is estimated to exceed 30,000.