Jiangning, a district in China’s Nanjing City, released its metaverse development plan on Saturday that includes training thousands of professionals for the industry in the latest push among cities and regions in the country to lay the groundwork to build out applications for the blockchain-based technology.
See related article: China’s Nanjing city launches state-backed metaverse entity
- The three-year plan includes attracting 200 metaverse companies into the district and building an industry with annual revenue of 20 billion yuan (US$2.80 billion) by the end of 2025. The district will promote cooperation between local enterprises and academic institutions to train 10,000 metaverse professionals in the next three years.
- It lists blockchain, artificial intelligence (A.I.), virtual reality and brain-computer interface among core metaverse technologies and includes plans to build 50 research centres and laboratories in these areas.
- The district’s roadmap was announced at a joint summit on metaverse and artificial intelligence-generated content (AIGC) on Saturday at the Jiangning High-tech Development Zone, an industrial park specialized in life sciences, software development and equipment manufacturing.
- The summit unveiled 16 metaverse-related projects to be built in the development zone, with a total investment of 8.1 billion yuan (US$1.13 billion), covering areas including A.I., cloud computing, big data and healthcare.
- The three-year plan is not Jiangning’s first metaverse initiative. It started to offer monetary benefits to metaverse firms as early as May 2022, and has invested 800 million yuan (US$112 million) to construct a “metaverse industrial building” to provide office space for metaverse companies.
- Jiangning’s moves are part of Nanjing’s broader ambition to become a metaverse hub of China. In February this year, the city — less than a two-hour train ride from Shanghai — unveiled its metaverse strategy and set the goal to establish an industry generating annual revenues exceeding 135 billion yuan (US$19.13 billion) by the end of 2025.
- Later in May, Nanjing launched “the Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” to promote and enhance metaverse studies throughout the nation.
- Apart from Nanjing, the Chinese metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou also have designs on leading the country’s metaverse development, with dozens of less prominent cities such as Zhengzhou and Suzhou trying to keep up with the trend.
See related article: Inside The Sandbox: A glimpse into the metaverse with co-founder Sebastien Borget