Wangxiang Innova City, China's largest smart city project, to get blockchain infrastructure

Auto manufacturer Wanxiang to invest $29bn to develop blockchain network and other tech with PlatON

Wanxiang Innova City in Hangzhou is set to become China's largest smart city project.
Wanxiang Innova City in Hangzhou is set to become China's largest smart city project.

China’s largest smart city project will be operated on a blockchain-based infrastructure developed by PlatON and automotive component company Wanxiang.

The auto component manufacturer has partnered with PlatON, a specialist in privacy-protecting computer networks, to develop a blockchain-based infrastructure for the Wanxiang Innova City in Hangzhou.

Wanxiang will invest $29 billion over the next decade to support the technological and infrastructural development in what is envisaged to become China’s largest, most interconnected, blockchain-powered smart city. PlatON’s blockchain-based network, selected for its scalability and privacy, will form the technological backbone of the city.

First announced in 2015, the Wanxiang Innova City will be built on 8.3 square kilometers of land on a premium riverfront site in Hangzhou. Innova City will feature a world-class International Research and Innovation Park, vast digital and ecological urban space, and Wanxiang’s advanced technology and manufacturing facilities for renewable energies and electric vehicles.

The Hangzhou city project is slated for completion by 2025.

The infrastructural blueprint of the smart city will be built from scratch using PlatON’s blockchain-based solution to track, transfer, and secure critical data such as resident identification cards and smart devices. PlatON’s blockchain solution will also be used to monitor driving behavioural data to train auto-driving systems, as well as to record and monitor electric vehicle life cycles, including their batteries to manage ecological waste efficiently, among other use cases.

Ada Xiao, Chief Strategy Officer at PlatON, said: “As we work to realise a fully digitalised future, Wanxiang Smart City will come to set a global standard in the future of emerging technologies and how they will shape and govern the way we live, work, and play. With our use of Multi-Party Computation (MPC) and other privacy-preserving technologies, we can ensure the privacy of sensitive data including digital identities of residents, smart equipment, and personal devices, as they interact with one another on a shared ledger. PlatON is proud to be driving this future-defining initiative and to lend its cloud-based blockchain solution to build Wanxiang Smart City.”

Through the use of PlatON’s next-generation computing network and public infrastructure, corporations and individuals in Wanxiang Smart City can connect different services for more efficient tracking of data, provide seamless transactions, and utilize public services transparently. Once completed in 2025, 90,000 citizens are expected to live and work in Wanxiang City.

Vincent Wang, Chief Innovation Officer at Wanxiang Holdings, said: “Imagine a smart transit system that tracks and rewards responsible driving behaviour, or a renewable power grid that incentivizes energy generation and trading, or even a myriad of urban services that can be validated, built, and offered at ease without the constraints of rigid data silos. As we embark on the design and development of the various cutting edge elements of Innova City, we have come to realize that the key aspects of a forward-looking smart city; trust, synergy, and value creation, directly mirror the values of blockchain.”

“We are thrilled to be pioneering such a monumental initiative with PlatON, reimagining the possibilities of an interconnected, safer, greener and more productive community. The Advanced Living Labs (ALL) that we champion at Wanxiang are perfect for bridging the gaps between prototyping and deployment of cutting-edge innovations, along with viable business models,” concluded Wang.

As China’s largest automotive component company, innovation drives the core of Wanxiang’s success. The Wanxiang Blockchain Lab was established as the first not-for-profit organization in China dedicated to blockchain research and development, organizing one of Asia’s largest blockchain summits every year. Working towards a sustainable future with electric cars, in 2018 Wanxiang announced a $10.2 billion investment to bolster its plans to build a lithium battery facility that includes an R&D lab, an international innovation center, and a new energy materials lab.

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