Retail

Diamond Firm Pilots Blockchain Tracking For WeChat Retailers

diamond mining

Russia-based diamond producer ALROSA is partnering with technology firm Everledger and Tencent’s social platform WeChat to sell diamonds to Chinese retailers using a blockchain platform, ALROSA announced in a press release on Tuesday (Dec. 17).

Using a WeChat Mini Program, ALROSA will use software by Everledger to show how blockchain technology can enable Chinese merchants to track diamonds’ origins, characteristics and ownership history.

The pilot program will spotlight ALROSA’s diamonds and offer a white-label application programming interface (API) for jewelry manufacturers and retailers in China that want to offer extensive information about the products. The Mini Program will help set brands apart in China’s luxury market.

“We are delighted to support this WeChat Mini Program with Everledger, as it reinforces our pursuit for sustainable mining and transparent supply chain information. Chinese consumers will be certain of the origin of their diamonds,” said ALROSA Head of Diamonds Pavel Vinikhin.

“We believe demonstrating full provenance of our diamonds on the most popular social media platform will help us to further strengthen our sales base in China,” he added.

An independent study conducted by PwC Advisory indicates that ALROSA is a world leader in diamond and gold mining, in terms of investments in social programs and offers transparency around its sustainable and ethical footprint. 

“This is a groundbreaking initiative with the titans of the diamond and internet industries,” said Evgeny Gokhberg, head of Europe, Everledger. “By providing 100 percent certainty of a diamond’s origin and journey to the consumer, in an easy-to-experience online platform such as WeChat, we are confident that this innovation will set a new standard when it comes to traceability and responsible business practices.”

Chinese consumers are spending — on travel, on luxury goods and on video games, among a slew of other items and services. The growth is slowing, to be sure — to roughly 8 percent as of the latest stats through the first several months of 2019 — but it is still significant.

The Chinese eCommerce market has indeed proved buoyant, even in the face of geopolitical tension. The country represents 25 percent of the world’s internet users and a rising tide of disposable income.

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