Chinese Internet Giant Baidu Airdrops 20,000 NFTs Ahead of NFT Marketplace Launch

Baidu has become the latest Chinese company to dive deep into the world of NFTs after announcing an Airdrop of 20,000 NFTs and an NFT marketplace.
Image source: Reuters

Quick take:

  • Chinese technology giant Baidu is dropping 20,000 non-fungible tokens.
  • The company has also announced it will launch a proprietary NFT marketplace.
  • The announcement comes despite China’s strong position on trading digital assets.

Baidu will airdrop more than 20,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of nostalgic Chinese cartoon characters ahead of the upcoming launch of its proprietary NFT marketplace this month. The announcement comes despite the strong stance taken by the Chinese government to blunt the hype around digital tokens.

Baidu is following in the footsteps of fellow Chinese technology giants, Tencent and Alibaba, which launched NFT marketplaces last year. Both companies introduced rules to limit NFT trading between marketplace users, reducing speculation.

Non-fungible tokens are still popular in China despite the government’s efforts to discourage people from investing in speculative digital assets.

The government has launched the Blockchain Service Network (BSN) to develop a unique framework for launching NFT projects. China is not completely opposed to non-fungible tokens. However, it wants them to be developed on a controlled blockchain platform that limits speculation and trading between marketplace users.

Baidu’s NFTs will be distributed free in three rounds. The company will airdrop 8,888 “Talking Tom Cat” NFTs on March 10 and March 12.

The third round will drop on March 16, featuring 3,160 Ali NFTs, derived from the popular cartoon character Ali Fox. The drop also coincides with “Ali the Fox’s” 16th birthday. 

Baidu is using its own blockchain technology Super Chain as the underlying platform for its NFT marketplace. Although Baidu, like its fellow Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent is staying away from foreign blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Tezos and Solana, the local media is still not convinced by the decision to issue NFTs.

“At this moment, all the excessive boasting and exaggeration of the NFT function, as well as the profit-making behaviours that take the opportunity, will have a very unfavourable impact on the development of NFT,” state-backed media newspaper wrote.

Baidu has recently announced a unique metaverse platform Xi Rang, Mandarin for Land of Hope in January. The app allows users to meet and interact in virtual public spaces using their avatars. Baidu announced that its metaverse platform will not include digital assets in an effort to comply with Beijing regulations on digital currencies.

In the west, Web3 companies launching NFT marketplaces and metaverses have opted to merge the two creating a one-stop shop for metaverse gaming, digital land and non-fungible tokens.

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