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Alibaba rolls out blockchain to tackle fake eggs, rice and other food items

China's online shopping giant is initially testing its fakes-fighter on food items from Australia and New Zealand

Steven Millward | TechinAsia 


Shoppers in China can now get a definitive answer on whether a product they’ve just bought is fake or legit – by simply scanning a code with their phones.

It’s part of a new trial that has just rolled out, using an incorruptible database – the technology behind and other cryptocurrencies – to track an authentic item going from a manufacturer to a consumer.

Alibaba, China’s online shopping giant, is initially testing its fakes-fighter with food items imported from Australia and New Zealand.

Just two products – one from Anchor and one from Blackmores – are part of the trial, an representative told Tech in Asia over the weekend.

Once the item arrives with the buyer in China, he or she can scan a special to see the blockchain-verified database that shows it’s a genuine product.

The goal of the programme – first announced in theory in March 2017 – is to use the database to “achieve end-to-end supply chain traceability and transparency to enhance consumer confidence and build a trusted environment for cross-border trade,” said in a statement.

Alibaba’s pilot is a small first step in tackling China’s crisis. Counterfeit soy sauce, rice, and eggs are among the potentially deadly items that have been found for sale.

What's exciting about the Asian tech scene in 2018
Fraud costs the global food industry $40 billion each year, according to research from Michigan State University.

worldwide are set to double their spending on technologies in 2018 – to $2.1 billion – as the database system finds more and more use cases. That expenditure will rocket to $9.7 billion in 2021, according to a report from IDC.

This is an excerpt from the article published on TechInAsia. You can read the full article here.

First Published: Tue, May 01 2018. 17:35 IST