JD.com Launches New Accelerator for Blockchain and AI Technology Developmentby Company Announcement February 27, 2018
JD.com, China’s largest retailer online or offline, has launched a new accelerator, AI Catapult, for the development of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.
Beginning in March, AI Catapult, which is part of JD’s AI program, will partner with innovative blockchain startups to build new businesses and create and test real-world applications of their technologies at scale. Participating startups will have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of operational teams within JD which, in addition to being the largest retailer in its home market, also operates the largest nationwide last-mile logistics network.
AI Catapult, which will be based in Beijing, starts with an inaugural roster of companies that have already made advances in their field.
They include the Chinese fintech pioneer, Bankorous; Australia’s cryptocurrency company CanYa; Bluezelle, the blockchain-powered database service based in Singapore; and London-based Nuggets, the e-commerce payments and ID platform built on blockchain.
These and future members of AI Catapult will benefit from JD’s and each other’s expertise as well as the unique opportunity to implement their cutting-edge technologies across JD’s various business functions. JD, which has over 266 million customers, also expects to invest in the growth of the AI and blockchain ecosystem through future commercial, strategic and research partnerships.
“JD is in a unique position to explore the potential of AI and blockchain in global commerce,”
said Bowen Zhou, Vice President of JD.com’s AI Platform and Research Division.
“We are excited to work with some of the world’s most innovative startups to explore ways we can scale these cutting edge technologies for the future of retail and other industries, as well.”
AI Catapult will also help JD’s AI research division find new ways to use AI to improve blockchain technology, with a particular focus in areas including scalability, security, privacy, efficiency, and energy consumption that will bring not only business benefits but positive social impact as well.