Metals and mining-focused blockchain platform MineHub has entered into a strategic co-operation agreement with TradeGo, a Chinese blockchain-based commodity trading platform, to connect its services into China.

Launched in November last year as a joint venture between Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation, China Merchants Energy Shipping, Sinochem Energy, China National United Oil Corporation, Macquarie, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Mitsui and Wanxiang Blockchain, TradeGo provides electronic documentation services including electronic bills of lading and warehouse receipts for bulk cargo trading in China.

The MineHub platform facilitates trade operations and document flows between metals and mining companies. It allows parties involved in selling, buying, delivering and paying for a cargo of minerals to collaborate securely in real-time, sharing electronic information rather than couriering paper or emailing documents that are subject to interception, fraud and cyber threats.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, the two networks – which run on different blockchain technology – will connect via APIs. MineHub users will get access to digital trade solutions from Chinese logistics and trade finance service providers connected to TradeGo, while TradeGo service providers can connect their digital trade services to cross-border trade flows orchestrated on MineHub. MineHub says this will allow both it and TradeGo to provide more value through digital transformation to a larger ecosystem.

“I am very pleased with this collaboration with TradeGo, after being connected to the team since early 2020,” says Arnoud Star Busmann, MineHub CEO. “We have a shared mission with strong synergy opportunities for our users in providing digital highways for trade in and out of China. Blockchain is enabling technology for cross-border supply chain digitalisation and TradeGo is one of the most advanced Chinese companies in that field.”

This partnership goes some way towards addressing a major challenge to global trade digitalisation: that of the lack of access to the Chinese market experienced by some solution providers, and restrictions in terms of how data from Chinese companies and Chinese entities can be managed outside China. While this issue affects all industry sectors, it is arguably most keenly felt in the metals and mining sector, given China’s importance as an importer. To tackle this, a growing number of companies are working on creating connectors between western and Chinese trade digitalisation initiatives. Last year, for example, trade finance network Contour partnered with software consultancy ThoughtWorks in China to help its local clients integrate with its network, in an attempt to connect more Chinese corporates and banks with their foreign trade counterparts.

For their part, MineHub and TradeGo say that their inter-regional platform co-operation will help the development of a digital trade ecosystem, and more effectively serve the intercompany collaboration of enterprise users involved in cross-border trade with China.