China’s Biggest Cities Bet Big on the Metaverse as Beijing Joins Shanghai

China’s stand on crypto has scared off tech giants from investing in NFTs but its largest cities think the metaverse may have a place in the country’s very rigid rule book.
Image source: UnSplash

Quick take:

  • Beijing has unveiled a two-year plan for the metaverse.
  • China’s second-largest city’s leadership thinks the tourism and education sectors could benefit from the metaverse opportunity.
  • The announcement of the new Web3 innovation plan comes at the back of Shanghai’s announcement of a 5-year metaverse plan.

Beijing has unveiled a 2-year plan for the metaverse. China’s largest city is following in the footsteps of the Capital Shanghai, which recently announced a 5-year plan for the immersive 3D virtual space.

The announcement comes despite the Asian nation’s strong stand on crypto and related industry verticals. China is one of the most cautious nations when it comes to adopting new technological advances that threaten the privacy of the country and its people. 

It also prohibits any financial activity that may be deemed speculative or gambling, which is why trading digital currencies are banned.

Yet, the metaverse, whose economy is mainly powered by digital currencies may have found a place in the country’s rigid rule book. At least that is what Beijing and Shanghai think.

In fact, according to the document detailing how Beijing plans to capitalise on the metaverse opportunity, there is a statement asking Municipalities to track non-fungible token (NFT) trends whilst assessing ways to fit the technology within the regulatory framework.

For reference, China’s largest technology company by market cap, Tencent recently shut its NFT operations in the country citing an inconducive regulatory framework. That shows the task ahead of Beijing and Shanghai if they ever plan to make NFTs a core vertical for their metaverse strategies.

Beijing sees the metaverse as a huge opportunity for the education and tourism sectors as it seeks integration into the system.

In the document published on the government website, Beijing said it plans to: “Promote digital education scenarios, support in-depth cooperation between Metaverse-related technology companies and educational institutions, expand intelligent and interactive online education models, and develop industry-wide digital teaching platforms,” according to Google Translate.

The multi-pronged strategy requires the various districts to show support for the new plan by building the technological infrastructure needed to promote the metaverse and its use-cases. The implementation committee of the new plan also requires districts to offer both manpower and financial support required to meet the targets for the 2-year plan.

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