Nanjing City, the provincial capital of China’s Jiangsu Province, launched the “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” on Monday, a state-backed entity committed to promoting and enhancing metaverse studies throughout the nation.

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Fast facts

  • The entity aims to consolidate the resources of academic institutions and enterprises in China and bolster research efforts in areas related to the metaverse.
  • Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST) spearheads the new state-backed entity. According to a Monday post on NUIST’s official social media account, founding members of this platform encompass a variety of academic institutions and blockchain-associated companies from across the mainland. 
  • The university set up China’s first metaverse major in September 2022 and established a department for wearable virtual reality devices in April 2023.
  • Nanjing is among several Chinese cities vying for a leading role in the nation’s metaverse evolution. The city unveiled its metaverse strategy in February 2023, setting an ambitious goal to establish a metaverse industry generating annual revenues exceeding 135 billion yuan (US$19.13 billion) by the end of 2025.
  • South of Nanjing, Shanghai is also forging ahead with its metaverse ambition. The Chinese metropolis projects its metaverse industry to achieve an annual revenue of 350 billion yuan by 2025. Shanghai showcased its first batch of 20 metaverse use cases in early 2023, spanning a range of domains from virtual hospital diagnoses to digital reproductions of the city’s historic architectural landmarks. 
  • Despite China’s tough stance on cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the country recognizes the potential of Web3 technologies, including metaverse, as a catalyst for its digital economy. In November 2022, the State Information Center of China, a government-affiliated think tank, published a commentary advocating for policymakers to leverage the metaverse’s capabilities to bolster real-world industries.
  • According to a local media report on Tuesday, Wu Zhong-ze, the former deputy minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, emphasized the need for Chinese state authorities to introduce a broader range of metaverse applications in sectors such as education, commerce, healthcare and entertainment. He also urged the establishment of metaverse industry standards. 

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