AsiaTimes’ Richard Cook: “Alibaba…owns more blockchain patents than any other company on the planet. Up to now these have had a financial focus, with all 49 patents belonging to its Ant Financial subsidiary. But the news that it has just started piloting a blockchain supply chain project called the Food Trust Framework that will track and authenticate cross-border trade, could have real significance on how global supply chains are managed and policed.

“Fake food has been a real concern in China, scandals are common and the arms-length nature of online retailing has made the problem worse. Alibaba, on launching the Food Trust Framework, said that fraud now costs the food industry $40 billion a year.”

Alibaba’s Jack Ma:

“If, for example, we imposed a seven-day prison sentence for every fake product sold, the world would look very different both in terms of intellectual property enforcement and food and drug safety, as well as our ability to foster innovation.”

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