Chinese tech giant Tencent launches blockchain accelerator program

Chinese tech giant Tencent has launched a blockchain accelerator, and it plans to mentor 30 companies developing blockchain-based technologies and services.

Called Tencent Industrial Accelerator, the program has now begun taking applications, according to the company's website. Interested projects have until June 6 to apply. 

The accelerator is open to both early-stage blockchain startups and established companies looking to pivot to blockchain technology. But a project needs to have already completed at least one round of funding to be eligible. 

Tencent said that selected projects will get a number of benefits, including four mentoring meetings per year, the opportunity to learn about the industry overseas, and a valuable new network of industry peers. They will also gain one year of free access to Tencent’s blockchain-as-a-service platform. The cost of the program is 100,000 RMB (about $14,120) per person.

Tencent has been at the forefront of blockchain technology development in China. According to research by The Block, Tencent filed the most blockchain patent applications last year – 718 out of over 5,800 in total –  followed by Alibaba, which filed 470. The company was also included in China’s national blockchain committee announced earlier this month, joining other prominent members Baidu, Huawei, and Peking University.

Correction: This report has been updated to correctly reflect the dollar amount and the total number of blockchain patents filed by Tencent.