In China, the Government is Spearheading the Race to the Metaverse

Nanjing City has launched a state-backed entity called “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” to enhance metaverse studies.
Image source: Big Stock

Quick take:

  • Nanjing City has launched the “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” project.
  • The state-backed projects will focus on advancing metaverse studies in the country.
  • Nanjing joins a growing list of Chinese cities that have announced mega plans for the metaverse.

China’s Nanjing City has joined the country’s biggest cities in the race to the metaverse. The Jiangsu Province’s Capital has launched a state-backed entity called “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” to advance metaverse studies across the whole country.

The entity will consolidate all resources and information from academic institutions and companies to accelerate research and development in the metaverse industry.

According to a social media post on Monday, the Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST) will take the lead in driving metaverse-related research in the new entity.

Nanjing is joining the likes of Shanghai and Beijing in the state-driven campaign to research and advance metaverse adoption in the country. Recently, the country’s state-backed Henan Cultural Tourism Investment Group has set up a 150 million yuan (US$21.7 million) private fund to invest in metaverse projects.

Yet, as the government continues to make giant leaps into the metaverse, the private sector seems to be slowly pulling out.

In February, Chinese entertainment giant Tencent dissolved its XR department barely four months after launching the unit, laying off 100 staff members. The company cited declining profits as the reason behind the decision. 

Last week, news came out that Ma Jie, the head of metaverse operations at Baidu had left his position. According to the report, the technology giant has apparently switched focus to generative AI amid the ChatGPT frenzy.

China is renowned for its strict tech policies and a stubborn position on the treatment of digital assets like crypto. The country has completely banned the trading of NFTs and related tokens drawing references to gambling and speculation.

However, with NFTs and ecosystem tokens playing an important part in the metaverse economy, the ban has significantly slowed the adoption of the metaverse in the country’s private sector, leaving the task to the government.

In other parts of the world, the private sector is driving the metaverse adoption, while in China, the government seems to be the one spearheading the campaign.


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