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China’s Conglomerate Fosun Group Invests in Local Blockchain Startup OnChain

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by Maria Konash · 3 min read
China’s Conglomerate Fosun Group Invests in Local Blockchain Startup OnChain

China’s largest private conglomerate invests in Shanghai Distributed Technologies Co Ltd, the company behind the Onchain project, to create a “universal platform” built on the tech.

Blockchain gains more popularity in China with a huge investment by Fosun Group, China’s largest private conglomerate and one of its most active investors, into Onchain, a Chinese blockchain company that has created a technology that underpins virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

Since 2014, Onchain has been engaged in the design, research and development of the blockchain distributed ledger system. After continuous R&D and improvement, they now have constructed the DNA(Distributed Networks Architecture), which is based on digital asset applications and capable of flexible expansion into multiple business support scenarios. Previously

the startup developed the public blockchain network Antshares, being later rebranded into NEO, China’s first open-source blockchain platform.

At the moment it’s not clear how much was actually invested, but according to the report, the latest investment closed last month is to be counted in the tens of millions of yuan. The team behind the project declined to elaborate.

The Fosun conglomerate is the sole investor in this first round of fundraising of Shanghai Distributed Technologies Co Ltd, the company behind the Onchain blockchain project. The conglomerate plans to apply the technology across its businesses, which include various spheres starting from financial services and ending up with pharmaceuticals.

Recently, blockchain has become increasingly popular in China, predominantly in the finance sector, as it contributes greatly to ensuring compliance, facilitating cross-border transactions, and avoiding unnecessary paperwork and man hours.

Chinese government not only doesn’t take any actions to block or challenge blockchain development, but promotes and encourages it, as they see its ability to increase transparency and openness, as well as reduce fraud.

“The government, regulators and entrepreneurs … see an opportunity for China to really put a stake in the ground and show its development and innovation around blockchain,” said Shanghai-based Zennon Kapron of consultancy Kapronasia.

It’s needless to say, that interest in blockchain has surged considerably this year being accompanied by number of blockchain-based digital currencies’ rise. The today’s leading currency, bitcoin, has risen in value several-fold this year, while ethereum, which takes the second place in terms of its price and market cap, has experienced a similar leap. All this is prompting concern of a market bubble at risk of collapse.

However, Da Hongfei, Shanghai Distributed Technologies’ CEO and also the founder of NEO, speaking about the current state of the Bitcoin market in terms of investment potential and possible “bubbling”, stated that cash flowing into the Blockchain sphere is worth it:

Definitely, there are bubbles. Perhaps 95 to 99 percent of projects are rubbish. But you don’t know. Some are technologically good projects. I think the money (going into blockchain) is worth it.

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