The Chinese government has issued the “Guiding Opinions on Rural Service Revitalization of Financial Services,” according to an official announcement on Feb. 11. The new framework is part of a plan to improve the efficiency of financial services for the country’s rural revitalization program.

The guidance will purportedly help promote the application of new technologies in the rural financial sector, such as blockchain, to “improve the identification, monitoring, early warning, and disposal levels of agricultural credit risks.”

The Guiding Opinions were jointly issued by the People’s Bank of China, the Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Applying blockchain in agriculture finance will purportedly streamline the collection and sharing of of agricultural data. Blockchain-based customer screening is expected to improve the credit evaluation model of agricultural businesses, increasing the number of loans issued while decreasing risk to creditors.

The announcement also predicts that new technologies will encourage financial institutions to “develop exclusive loans products and small payment settlement functions for rural e-commerce and to open up a rural e-commerce capital chain.”

China’s foray to apply blockchain in various industries also extends to copyright protection services in their media outlets. In December 2018, the China Financial Media Copyright Protection Alliance — which consists of more than 30 financial media outlets — announced that it will use blockchain technology to develop copyright cooperation in the industry.

Overall, China is a world leader in applying blockchain technology to various industries. In 2017, China filed more patents for blockchain applications with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) than any other country. Well over half of the 406 patents filed with the WIPO that year were from China, with 225. China was followed by the United States, at 91, and Australia, with 13.

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