- Beijing-based flexible workspace brand Ucommune has established its first blockchain research lab
- The new lab will conduct in-depth research on blockchain application for coworking spaces
- Ucommune is also initiating a blockchain platform for community members
Asia’s fastest growing coworking brand, Ucommune, has announced the establishment of its first blockchain research lab, with an inauguration ceremony held in Beijing on May 28, 2018. This marks the brand’s official foray into the blockchain sector, making the event the first of its kind in the coworking industry.
In support of the central Chinese government’s drive towards blockchain adoption and the digital economy, Ucommune is initiating a platform for other community members upon which they can build their blockchain solutions. In addition, they will also be creating innovative solutions for co-working spaces on the blockchain platform.
Mr. Ma Zhiyu, founder and CEO of the Ucommune Blockchain Lab, commented: “Our foray into blockchain reflects Ucommune’s commitment in providing decentralised and trusted services to our growing and diversifying community member base.
“The new lab will conduct in-depth research on blockchain application for coworking and develop a whitepaper that sets the industry benchmark. We are also leveraging blockchain for custom-made solutions to better serve our millennials members.”
Mr. Ma amasses decades of experience in IT software developments. Since 2017, Mr. Ma has been involved in blockchain and has mentored several young entrepreneurs in the field. In addition, he is interested in the application of blockchain to areas such as healthcare, big data, blockchain sourcing, sport gaming, celebrity IP and copyright training applications. He has also founded a blockchain lab named Astar.
Partnering Mr. Ma on the blockchain development would be Ucommune’s CTO, Mr. Xu Binchao. Mr. Xu has over 15 years of experience in technology development. He specializes in product design and the application of new technology. He has led various teams to design and operationalize various internet businesses. In addition, he has amassed a wealth of knowledge in search engine optimisation and development. Mr. Xu is optimistic about creating a blockchain-enabled coworking eco-system.
“Ucommune Blockchain Lab aims to enable and empower a trust-based virtual network that helps businesses of varied sizes to collaborate, source and trade efficiently and transparently,” said Mr. Xu. “Drawing on our technological know-how and expertise, we are on track to connect enterprises across the entire value chain to form a smart contract platform that all member companies can build their sub-chains upon.”
Supporting both technical leads would be Mr. Josh Zhang. He is currently the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Partner of Ucommune, overseeing strategic planning, government relations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and innovation programs of the company. Mr. Zhang will provide the business strategy to ensure the commercial viability of the project.
“Blockchain is a dynamic technology with several commercial use cases. Given the wide array of choices available, Ucommune will conduct our due diligence to discover the requirements, price points and preferences of our clients. This will inform our blockchain product development strategy and also customize the platform to suit other entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Zhang.
Prior to joining Ucommune, Mr. Zhang was the director of APEC China Business Council, an arm of APEC. During his tenure as an aide to Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba, Mr. Zhang was in charge of the Group’s external affairs and was the main driver behind the company’s partnership with countries in the Asia Pacific region. An early pioneer in China’s technology incubation industry, he was awarded the ‘Global Shaper’ prize by the World Economic Forum. He also mentored start-ups at the Technology Center of Peking University.
Quest of community expansion
With the merger of Woo Space, Wedo, New Space and Workingdom earlier this year, Ucommune has undoubtedly cemented its leadership position in China. Boasting a presence in 160 locations from 36 cities globally, Ucommune connects 120,000 individual members and 7000 corporate members with a total space of 400,000 square metres.
In the earlier part of the year, Ucommune launched its proprietary application UBazaar. It aggregates local suppliers, services and merchants, which simplifies various transactions. The UBazaar mobile app has so far achieved over 500,000 downloads, 100,000 active users in 160 communities.
“As we celebrate the third anniversary of Ucommune, I am proud to see that we have built a strong platform that empowers entrepreneurs with equal opportunities. We have provided the space for 150 enterprises with over 20 million users. We are committed to unleashing the potential of co-working spaces globally through incorporating cutting-edge technology such as blockchain,” said Dr. Mao Daqing, founder and Chairman of Ucommune at the World INS Conference, a proprietary event of Ucommune held in the City of Xi An last week.