Updated: Apr 26
As per the latest reports that have surfaced in China, Tencent, the owner of WeChat and known to be the biggest internet giant in China would be forming a new team to look after the different ventures pertaining cryptocurrencies while also looking after different ways to support government projects.
According to the sources, Tencent recently informed its employees through an internal notice that it was all set to establish a new cryptocurrency research unit and was looking for someone who was equipped enough to head the team. The company also mentioned in the notice that the research unit would be an addition to the Tencent’s already existing payment unit.
The new research wing is supposed to explore the possible alternatives for using digital currencies in its payment platform. Apart from that, the team would also be responsible for discovering various other possible business applications related with digital payments. Moreover, the goals will extend for finding best utilization of digital coins within current and future regulatory terms.
As mentioned in the start, the team will hopefully be supporting initiatives taken by the government in the cryptocurrency niche. It is believed that the People's Bank of China abbreviated as PBOC is planning to team up with Tencent for issuing digital yuan which is still under development. The claims have been made obvious after the published reports in Quartz and CNBC.
The reports from these sources have clearly marked Tencent’s new research team to be the choice of government's pilot digital currency plan. The development of the coin is planned in the city of Shenzhen.
As of now, there hasn’t been any clarifications made by Tencent on these reports. However, at the same time, the company has not denied the reports either. The additional information regarding the new research unit is still expected from Tencent. Tencent, as of now, has avoided making any exclamations on the subject when requested for its comment by the Chinese media.
There has been no information if the company would like to consider developing a new digital coin, or would only stick to the government’s initiative by supporting applications for the new digital yuan.
Going back to the Tencent's WeChat Pay, it won’t be incorrect to count WePay as one of the largest payment processors in the world. WeChat Pay alone makes up for nearly 40 percent of the mobile payment segment within the China's multi-trillion-dollar industry. As per the reports published in Business Insider, the company was able to turn around 900 million people to their user’s list in the year 2017.
Even after being so much trusted by the people of China, WeChat Pay could not go beyond impressing few more countries apart from China. The payments platform, WeChat Pay is making every possible plan to expand its outreach outside of China. It even reached countries participating in the Chinese government's Belt and Road Initiative. However, it seems, the luck wasn’t in favour of the company.
It did suffer setbacks. While the WeChat Pay was banned by the Nepalese government before, the AliPay put a ban earlier this year on the payment platform after it failed to register with the country's financial regulator.
Tencent, with its various tries to become the largest payment platform has always proved of its interest in the blockchain technology. The white paper published by the company in 2017 proposed a solution offering blockchain services. The services include digital identity verification along with the digital asset management.
Few months back, in October, Tencent declared its intention of offering financial services to its customers through a virtual bank while leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology. Proceeding which, WeBank, Tencent’s existing bank, became the first provider for technical infrastructure to China's national blockchain network.
However, when the matter of cross border reach is concerned, Tencent is worried about the challenges that it may have to face because of Facebook's Libra project It has showed its concern by highlighting the serious risk that the Libra project may pose to WeChat Pay’s expansion beyond China.
Not just the company, but the Chinese government has been also worried about Libra eliminating its own digital yuan initiative as the private alternative. On Tuesday, a senior Chinese official confirmed about country’s plan to further the scope of the blockchain cross-border pilot payments platform.