Professional services firm PwC is backing VeChain, a blockchain-based anti-counterfeit and supply chain company out of China.

VeChain, which becomes a portfolio company of PwC's incubation program to accelerate blockchain adoption in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, has been developed by BitSE (short for Bit Service Expert), a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) company established in China back in 2013, with 50 or so blockchain engineers on the firm.

DJ Qian, CEO of BitSE and VeChain, said: "In the journey of a joint business relationship between PwC and BitSE, we are delighted to achieve this significant milestone together with PwC. VeChain S.E.A, a subsidiary of BitSE, will focus on accelerating VeChain business expansion in Southeast Asia.

"Besides technology, industry know-how and market experiences are equally important to apply blockchain technology. We share the same vision with PwC to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of trust in supply chain management. I believe this in-depth cooperation will definitely accelerate the transformation of supply chain management."

Counterfeiting is massive in China. VeChain, which launched in November 2016, is a collaboration platform, making the supply chain more transparent and solving important problems that exist in the modern supply chain. So far, this platform has already been adopted by several established companies as part of their production system in industries such as luxury, fashion, logistics, pharmaceuticals, automotive, food safety, and wine and spirits, it said.

PwC's incubator program will help VeChain accelerate its deployment in Hong Kong and South East Asia, as well as offer the blockchain startup strategic advice, help it expand into more industries and on-board more clients.

Raymund Chao, PwC Greater China chairman, said: "Embracing advanced technology for growth becomes the top priority for many business sectors. Innovative applications and solutions could improve the effectiveness of supply chain, brand reputation, and even customer experience. We are excited about the joint initiative between PwC and BitSE and the VeChain services we provide that could help our clients achieve greater success. I envisage our services will create an impact and deliver on our firm's purpose of building trust in society and solve important problems."

PwC and BitSE held a signing ceremony in Hong Kong with Raymund Chao and DJ Qian, to make the agreement official. A second signing ceremony was held in Singapore on May 17 with Mr Qian and Yeoh Oon Jin, PwC Singapore's executive chairman. BitSE and VeChain will be appearing at Consensus 2017 in New York City.