A new group is focusing on promoting blockchain tech in Shanghai.

Calling itself the Shanghai Industrial Development Blockchain Alliance, the group is seeking to turn the city into a regional hub for the technology. According to a press release announcing the organization, members include the Shanghai Development and Reform Research Institute, Wanxiang Blockchain Lab and blockchain startup and Hyperledger member BitSE.

The group’s origins date back to earlier this summer when discussions between the Shanghai government and members of the local development community began.

BitSE CEO DJ Qian told CoinDesk:

“The Shanghai government wanted to take notice and support these type of innovative blockchain applications.”

The group mirrors a similar effort being undertaken in Shenzhen.

In June, a group of 31 companies formed a consortium aimed at information-sharing and the exploration of the technology. Notable sponsors of that effort include Ping An Bank and a subsidiary of Tencent, the maker of the popular QQ messaging app.

China, which has a deep connection with bitcoin through both the mining and exchange trade ecosystems, has seen growing interest among established firms in blockchain applications beyond digital cash. Shanghai itself is also set to play host to a series of blockchain-related conferences next week.

Reportedly sponsoring the new organization is the China Finance Information Center, an office complex that plays home to the state-run Xinhua News Agency and other financial services company. The group’s organizers said that the Information Center will play a significant role in both promoting the effort and creating a meeting ground for companies and startups that become involved.

Other members include the Shanghai Institute of Science, the Lujiazui Finance Internet Association and the Jiading Industrial Zone Economic Development Co, one of several economic zones within Shanghai.

Image Credit: Dylan Xu / Shutterstock.com

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