(Yicai Global) Jan. 19 -- Two US-listed Chinese firms LightInTheBox Holding Co. and PPDAI Group Inc. have established blockchain technology research laboratories and research centers, both companies said. Share prices of the former soared 40 percent at pre-market trading in the US stock market on the day, while that of the latter also rose more than 18 percent.
"Blockchain technology is expected to play an important role in cross-border e-commerce transactions and many other related areas. As a leading cross-border e-commerce firm, our aim in setting up a laboratory is to explore and develop relevant blockchain technology platforms and applications," said Quji Guo, chairman and CEO of LightInTheBox [NYSE:LITB].
The company's website LightInTheBox.com and its electronic products website MiniInTheBox have started accepting bitcoin payments, it said yesterday. The bitcoin transactions will be handled by bitcoin payment service provider BitPay headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the US. Bitpay was founded in 2011 and it secured investment from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing in 2014.
PPDAI Group [NYSE:PPDF] will invest CNY1 billion (USD156 million) in the next three years to set up four research centers including artificial intelligence, blockchain, financial cloud and Big Data under its institute of intelligent finance, it said in a statement.