First Chinese State-Backed Blockchain Firm "Tainted" the Nation's Image Due to the Export of Faulty COVID-19 Medical Supplies

Sarah Tran   Apr 16, 2020 05:15

China Tus Data Asset Blockchain Distorted MInister of Commerce Blacklisted Aibaoda.jpg


Tus Data Asset, a blockchain firm based in Beijing, has been banned by the Chinese government from exporting medical supplies to other countries during the coronavirus pandemic


As the first blockchain technology-based firm backed by the state capital, the company has been accused of tainting the nation’s image by selling poor-quality products. Controlled by the state-owned Tus Shareholdings, company registration records show Tus Data Asset had changed its business model on March 23, in line with the growing trend to sell medical equipment.


The Ministry of Commerce blacklisted the state-backed firm, according to The Global Times. There has been a surge of overseas buyers who returned their goods, as the products were deemed faulty.


Aibaoda Technology, based in Shenzhen and backed by Taiwanese audiovisual firm Aipo International has also been banned due to the lack of quality of its medical gear. “We started to export masks not long ago… we were not exporting any medical supplies other than masks. We don’t manufacture masks, we just bought masks from somewhere else and exported them,” an Aibaoda spokesman told the South China Morning Post.


The Ministry of Commerce added that the two companies have “distorted the order” of China’s exports. A decision was made last week that all shipments of medical equipment would require a mandatory customs inspection.


Faulty medical gear exported from China


In late March, when the pandemic started to cause an exponential increase in infections and deaths around the world, officials from the Netherlands recalled 600,000 masks that were manufactured in China as they did not meet the standards for filter performance and fit.


Rapid COVID-19 test kits produced by a Chinese company that was exported to Spain were found to be inaccurate, leading to a halt in usage by the Spanish officials. The Czech Republic and Turkey also stated that a number of test kits were faulty, with 80 percent of 300,000 rapid test kits appeared inaccurate.


Despite small setback, China’s blockchain industry is still set to boom


The Chinese central government has put together a national blockchain committee to work on setting industrial standards. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a notice on April 13 of the “Public Notice on the Formation of a National Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Standardization Technical Committee.”


The committee would be made up of 71 individuals from different backgrounds, including political, industrial, academic, and research organizations. The committee will be chaired by MIIT deputy minister Chen Zhaoxiong, along with five vice-chairs, all of whom are government staff, including Di Gang, the vice-head of the Chinese central bank digital currency institute.


Other committee members include executives from well-known Chinese institutions, including Baidu, Tencent, Huawei, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, amongst others. The ministry is also asking for public feedback on the committee members until the deadline of May 12, 2020.



Image via Shutterstock

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