Tencent is partnering with ShareRing to launch the Blockchain Digital ID platform

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Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings is partnering with blockchain company ShareRing to introduce a new digital identification system to streamline international travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, ShareRing will combine its distributed ledger technology with Tencent’s cloud services to create a blockchain-based platform for digital identity management.

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In particular, ShareRing will use Tencent Cloud’s optical character recognition and facial recognition technology to enhance the “self-sovereign identity app”. In its current form, the app can be used to book flights, hotel reservations, rental cars and a host of other services.

In a joint statement, Tencent and ShareRing said the goal of this partnership is to help Southeast Asian countries “reopen their borders to tourism and recover from the economic blow” of COVID-19.

The travel and tourism industries have been hit by global lockdowns. S & P Global Ratings is forecasting a 60% to 70% decline in global air traffic this year.

The companies said the platform has already received interest from various government agencies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes 10 member states.