Tencent, the operator of Chinese social media app WeChat, is planning to create a digital currency research group for the further advancement of blockchain technology research projects.

On Dec. 23, Chinese media outlet iFeng reported that the Chinese internet giant released a statement to its employees saying that the company is currently on the lookout for the new head of the research group.

The yet-to-be-established digital currency research group will reportedly focus on Tencent’s further advancement in the digital payment industry by utilizing blockchain technology.  

Cointelegraph contacted Tencent regarding these latest developments but had yet to receive a response as of press time. This article will be updated if new comments come in.

Blockchain diamonds for sale on WeChat

Just recently, Tencent announced a new partnership with the world’s largest diamond mining firm, Russia’s Alrosa, and blockchain platform Everledger, to launch a new diamond-focused retail mini-program aimed at WeChat’s one billion active users. 

The collaboration between the three companies aims to improve transparency and consumer trust across the diamond supply chain, enabling social media users to purchase diamonds with full knowledge of their origin, characteristics and ownership history.

Shenzhen’s blockchain invoice system developed by Tencent

At the beginning of November, Shenzhen’s tax service reported that over 10 million blockchain-based invoices had been issued in the Chinese tech capital and that it will continue to actively promote blockchain-enabled electronic billing. Shenzhen’s blockchain invoice system was developed by Tencent.

Over 7,600 companies have already used the blockchain-based invoice system, comprising a total value of close to $1 billion. The blockchain invoicing service has been applied thusfar in local finance, insurance, retail, hotel catering and parking services.