Beijing’s local government on Saturday released a white paper outlining plans and challenges for development of the city’s Web 3.0 industry, typically defined as the next evolution of the internet built around decentralized blockchain technologies, the metaverse, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Beijing joins other cities and regions in the country in announcing plans to build capabilities in Web3.

See related article: China: Zhengzhou City proposes metaverse plan

Fast facts

  • Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission said in the white paper, released at the Zhongguancun Forum in Beijing, that the city faces challenges in developing Web3 industries, including finding appropriate talent, ensuring the integrity of blockchains, and developing relevant laws and regulations, according to the agency’s social media post on Saturday.
  • The paper defines Web3 as providing a three-dimensional online space that merges virtual reality and reality in an immersive experience that could enhance communication between humans and improve the efficiency of economic activities, according to the post.
  • The document says that as of April, at least 30 provincial and municipal governments across the country have rolled out guidelines or policies related to Web3 development, though it also notes the Web3 sector is still in its infancy and has limited applications at present.
  • The release of the white paper comes after the same Beijing government agency published a work plan in March to boost Web3 development in the city.
  • Changpeng Zhao, founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, tweeted on Saturday that the release of the white paper is “interesting timing” as a new regulatory regime on cryptocurrency trading platforms is set to take effect on June 1 in Hong Kong.
  • Meanwhile, local media Cailianshe reported Saturday that a director of the Administrative Commission of Zhongguancun Science Park, a tech hub in Beijing, said at the same forum that the city’s Chaoyang district plans to invest at least 100 million yuan (US$14.1 million) a year in local Web3 industries.
  • Justin Sun, founder of Tron blockchain platform and advisor of crypto exchange Huobi, also tweeted that China’s commitment to embracing Web3 “reflects a significant step towards recognizing the transformative potential of decentralized systems and blockchain-based solutions.”
  • China banned crypto trading on the Chinese mainland in September 2021, but it has taken a different approach to the potential in blockchain technology. Last week, the municipal government of Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan Province, issued proposals to support metaverse companies, including setting up a 10 billion yuan fund dedicated to the industry.

See related article: Hong Kong’s new crypto rules covered by China state TV in rare move from Beijing