Bank technology provider Sinodata opened the second annual Global Blockchain Summit this week with the announcement that it seeking to collaborate with blockchain startups.

The Beijing-based software development firm was the first of several major Chinese companies set to take the stage at the event, which will see participation from firms including Tencent-backed Webank, auto giant Wanxiang and blockchain consortium ChinaLedger.

In remarks today, Sinodata chairman Yedong Zhu discussed how it is seeking to build an ecosystem of Internet-based financial applications, and that it believes cross-industry collaboration is needed to advance blockchain.

Yedong told the audience:

“We’re honored to attend this summit and [believe] the application of blockchain is promising. [But] we think that for any technology to succeed, it must demonstrate social and business value.”

Yedong’s talk followed a longer introduction by fellow sponsor IBM, which detailed how it is using blockchain for applications in its own business. This included an overview of how a use case for blockchain as a way to ensure the safety and soundness of airplane machine components.

The introduction set the stage for roughly 30 companies to participate as part of the conference’s scheduled “demo day”, which saw startups including Ujo Music, Ripio and Velocity demonstrate blockchain applications.

Trade finance

Notably, Yedong indicated that Sinodata has been researching applications for blockchain in trade finance, but that it believes hurdles remain for even these promising use cases to mature.

Here again, Yedong stressed the benefits Sinodata could bring in partnerships, noting that it has the “fundamentals” to help efforts to explore its potential

“We have our core patent technology and and we have a 10-year history of identification. We are very willing to share our technologies with other blockchain companies,” he said.

Elsewhere, Yedong discussed the larger shift in China to digital banking and his belief that digitizing legal documents could be one important step in extending this larger shift.

Image via Pete Rizzo for CoinDesk

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