Following Shanghai’s plan to develop its metaverse industry, additional local Chinese governments are adding the metaverse to their economic blueprints. Two recent plans come from Beijing’s Tongzhou District and Hengqin near neighboring Macau, just as some of China’s tech companies are shrinking their businesses to face an economic downturn.
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- Beijing’s Tongzhou District said it will focus on developing four metaverse-related industries — digital design, virtual humans, extended reality and digital art. The region also plans to launch an investment fund to support metaverse-related startups and establish an industrial park for the companies to settle in, according to a document released on Tuesday.
- Tongzhou District lies at Beijing’s southeastern section, and is listed as the Chinese capital’s “sub-center” — a place to draw people from Beijing’s overcrowded center.
- Hengqin listed the metaverse as part of an economic stabilization plan, saying it will form a more detailed policy on encouraging metaverse-related industries, according to a policy file released on Tuesday.
- Hengqin is an island and designated as an area co-managed by the authorities of mainland China and Macau.
- In July, Shanghai announced it would boost virtual tourism in the metaverse and included the metaverse in the city’s five-year development plan.
- China’s tech giants face an economic downturn. Tencent is laying off workers to reduce spending and recently scaled down its NFT marketplace Huanhe. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said in an internal email on Monday the company will cut down its non-core business to survive the economic downturn.
- The International Monetary Fund last month cut its forecast for China’s 2022 GDP growth by a quarter to 3.3%, which would be the slowest growth rate in 40 years. China’s central bank announced on Monday a sharp cut in its lending benchmark to revive the economy.
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