Thousands of China’s elites are currently gathered in Beijing for the “two sessions,” the annual meetings for members the National People’s Congress (or NPC, China’s rubber-stamp legislative branch) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (or CPPCC, a non-legislative advisory body). This year, much of the attention is focused on president Xi Jinping’s proposal to lift the term limits for the posts of president and vice president, which would pave the way for his indefinite rule and further consolidate his power.

Beyond politics, however, the two sessions are also a time for China’s business leaders, many of whom are delegates to the bodies, to draw the Chinese leadership’s attention to business issues. This year, as noted by Chinese media outlet Guancha (link in Chinese), several tech moguls attending this year’s meetings sang the praises of blockchain—a technology China’s consumers and startups have embraced, but that Beijing has looked on with relative ambivalence. At a media briefing on Mar.

3, Pony Ma, CEO of tech titan Tencent and a delegate to the NPC, told reporters that he remained cautious about initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital currencies. “An ICO for digital currency I think this is a huge risk,” he said, according to Tencent’s transcript of the briefing.

“If everyone carelessly makes their own currency, this will create a large problem for regulators. For now, what we can say is although it’s very hot, we haven’t participated, and haven’t considered releasing our own currency.” Ma added, however, that he’s optimistic about blockchain’s potential for document and identify verification, as well as ensuring that digital files can’t be duplicated or tampered with.

“Right now everyone is fixated on digital currency. I think we first need to resolve these problems before blockchain will advance.” Other tech leaders and politicians chimed in on blockchain as well. Read more from…

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