The new service, translated from the Chinese as Open Network, will enable users to develop and deploy applications without building their own blockchain platforms, consistent with a Chinese media report by STCN, a state-owned daily newspaper.
It is a part of Baidu’s enterprise blockchain network Xuperchain and aims to draw in smaller users with lower cost and technological barriers.
The move also fits into the Chinese government’s embrace of blockchain and its desire to encourage its use by smaller businesses throughout the country.
Baidu said the value for using the new service are often as low as 1 yuan (US14 cents) with its quantity-based fee structure until March, consistent with the report. To simplify the method to create applications, the new service allows customers to use smart contracts templates and other functional components designed to extend efficiency.
According to the company’s website, the Xuperchain network has nearly 3.5 million users and has processed over 450 million transactions. The network has seven masternodes including Tsinghua University and streaming services giant iQiyi to assist and verify transactions on the platform.
Baidu announced in May it might make its Xuperchain network open source to the general public and appearance into the potential challenges its prospective users could encounter.
The new service isn’t the company’s first effort to assist developers build their own applications. In February, Baidu Cloud launched Baidu Blockchain Engin (BBE) to tackle storage and computing issues for developers once they attempt to build applications.
The company debuted its Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform in January 2018. The platform aims to supply blockchain infrastructure for applications. However, unlike the new service, the platform requires companies and developers to possess their own blockchain first.