Chinese blockchain: convergence around a Beijing-aligned strategy

Jiawei Hai*, Robyn Klingler-Vidra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review


The Yuan dynasty proverb ‘Heaven is high and the emperor is far away’ refers to a
setting in which the government is supreme, but far away, and so one can exercise
autonomy. In the blockchain context, this would mean that entrepreneurs had agency
in choosing their innovation (e.g. crypto, infrastructure, or other) across each of the
three Chinese cities. But, as the emperor gets closer, and still remains supreme in its power, there may be less and less distinct contextual rationalities informing technological innovations that are market-driven. Instead, innovators would either focus on infrastructure and public services, as those in Beijing do today, or relocate offshore. That state-led, monolith model, which only enables state-friendly forms of innovation in this technological frontier, may be the only one available to export.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Policy
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2022


  • China
  • Blockchain
  • Policy
  • Startup
  • AI
  • Digitalisation
  • Technology
  • Innovation


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