- Henan Cultural Tourism Investment Group has launched a $21.7M private fund to invest in the metaverse.
- The state-backed investment group said the fund aims to integrate resources in the culture and tourism industry.
- The fund will focus on the development of virtual reality and the metaverse to boost the tourism and cultural sector’s digital competitive edge internationally.
China’s Henan province has joined a list of states betting big on the metaverse. The state-backed Henan Cultural Tourism Investment Group on Thursday announced the launch of a 150 million yuan (US$21.7 million) private fund to invest in metaverse projects.
According to a strategic plan published by the Henan government last October, the plan is to expand the province’s metaverse industry to 30 billion yuan (~$440 million) by 2025.
The latest announcement also comes at the back of a similar plan revealed by Shanghai last year. In July 2022, Shanghai unveiled a multi-pronged metaverse strategy that will create $300 billion in wealth for the city.
A month later, the Chinese capital Beijing unveiled a two-year plan for the metaverse, singling out the tourism and education sectors as potential major beneficiaries.
The metaverse is described as a 3D virtual space comprised of immersive worlds where businesses and people can engage in virtual trade, gaming activities and virtual events. Most metaverses are built on web3, the next iteration of the internet that prioritises user privacy and decentralised applications.
China has one of the most prohibitive policies for the digital economy, a factor that has hindered the adoption of web3 in the country. Recently, one of the country’s biggest technology companies Tencent dissolved its extended reality (XR) division laying off 100 staff members amid profitability issues.
The likes of Alibaba have decided to pursue the industry through partnerships. On Wednesday, Alibaba Cloud, the Chinese tech giant’s digital technology and intelligence division announced a partnership with Layer 1 blockchain Avalanche to build a metaverse launchpad for its customers.
However, with China, it looks like government-backed projects are spearheading the metaverse adoption campaign.
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