Shanghai Eyes $6.9B Economic Boost From Metaverse Related Ventures

China’s biggest city seeks to integrate digital artwork with blockchains and games, and enable virtual performances and 3D interactions in AR.
Image source: Wikipedia

Quick take:

  • Shanghai expects its culture and tourism sectors to generate $6.9 billion in revenues from the metaverse.
  • The city is embracing what it calls smart tourism with various products and services including virtual performances, digital artwork and others.
  • China’s biggest city and financial centre said on Tuesday it aims to build 30 culture and tourism metaverse projects by the end of 2025.

Shanghai has unveiled a mega plan that could help its tourism and culture sectors to generate 50 billion yuan (US$6.9 billion) in metaverse-related revenue by the end of 2025.

The city said on Tuesday that it is embracing what it calls smart tourism, amid the recent advances in artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies.

Shanghai is China’s biggest city and financial hub. The city is following in the footsteps of the likes of Beijing, Nanjing and Zhengzhou, all of which have unveiled big metaverse plans.

Last August, Beijing unveiled its two-year metaverse plan that zeroed in on the tourism and education sectors. Although Shanghai’s 5-year plan for the metaverse industry was announced much earlier, it seems to have scaled down from its initial target of 350 billion yuan $52 billion in annual revenues by 2025. According to its July 2022 plan, Shanghai has an estimated budget of $1.4 billion for the metaverse industry.

More recently, Zhengzhou City, the capital of Henan province launched a 10 billion yuan (~$1.4 billion) fund, with an additional 50 billion yuan (~$7.08 billion) planned down the line in a bid to incentivise metaverse companies in the city.

In May 2023, Nanjing City launched the “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” project with the goal of advancing metaverse studies in the country.

China’s strategy for becoming a key player in the metaverse economy appears to be spearheaded by the government contrary to other countries where the private sector is driving the campaign.

Shanghai’s plan aims to build 30 culture and tourism metaverse projects by the end of 2025. The municipal administration of culture and tourism of the Chinese capital plans to leverage the metaverse for various tourism and cultural products including offering virtual performances, digital artwork and others.

The projects also cover a wide spectrum of the metaverse industry including integrating metaverse technologies into the city’s real-world tourist attractions to allow visitors to interact with the sites through augmented reality and deploy avatars as tour guides, among other metaverse services.

The city will also support the integration of digital artworks with blockchains and video games, as well as support Metaverse entertainment businesses. Shanghai sees blockchain, extended reality, and artificial intelligence as key technologies for the development of the metaverse.


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