Today, China-based Real Can (or Ruikang) Pharmaceutical announced it has built a blockchain solution for supply chain finance with Zheshang Bank. The platform, named Jixiangtian, aims to increase efficiency, collaboration, and communication between supply chain firms and banks.
Real Can, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, boasted revenues of over 33 billion yuan ($4.7bn) last year. While Zheshang Bank is a leader in blockchain fintech solutions, having launched an accounts receivables blockchain in 2017, which last year issued a securitized loan. Other projects from Zheshang, listed by China’s watchdog, include a warehouse receipt platform, an OTC trading system, and an initiative for transferring personal finance products.
So it’s no surprise the bank has turned its hand to supply chain finance. It signed a cooperative agreement with Real Can in January, and today launches its jointly developed platform.
As Real Can CEO Zhang Renhua put it: “this cooperation will introduce Zheshang Bank’s industry-leading blockchain technology and jointly build an upgraded version: Supply Chain Finance 2.0.”
Jixiangtian will collect, transmit, and explore the financing needs of businesses in the supply chain. The data can be transferred more quickly to financial institutions, which then perform risk analysis and provide services more efficiently. This opens financing channels to the whole industry, today’s announcement claims.
Users of the previous Real Can platform can now use Jixiangtian. These include the nearly 1,000 pharma manufacturers the firm works with, which can now expect faster, reliable payment thanks to the immutably stored finance data.
On future plans, Zhang added: “We are committed to accepting tens of thousands of medical equipment manufacturers and undertaking more than 50,000 medical institutions. We believe that we have the responsibility and ability to empower the upstream and downstream, to change the industry ecology and improve the efficiency of the pharmaceutical industry supply chain management.”
The platform has loose parallels with western initiative Mediledger, which connects wholesalers and manufacturers. Prominent players include the US’s three largest wholesalers, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Cardinal, which account for 94% of the market.