A sister paper of the People’s Daily, Securities Times, published an opinion piece to criticize non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as hype and suggested the digital assets should serve the real economy by tokenizing actual assets.

Fast facts

  • The article offers as an example Justin Sun’s NFT purchase of a digital avatar for US$10.5 million and the vast turnover price of NFT work Beeple to illustrate there is a huge bubble in NFTs. The article argues people are obsessed with hype.
  • The article also argued that NFTs should serve the real economy, such as by tokenizing actual assets like real estate or cars.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese tech giants are tapping into the NFT business with good market performance. Last week, Alibaba’s online mall launched an NFT moon cake — a snack to celebrate the Chinese traditional festival Mid-Autumn Festival, which sold out in a day. In June and August, Alipay sold two batches of NFT artworks — a total of 160,000 pieces within the issuing day. Tencent also launched its NFT platform “Huanhe” in August.
  • Yet Chinese technology giants have been continuously undergoing antitrust actions for nearly half a year. In April, Alibaba was charged with a monopoly and fined 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.812 billion). In July, the Market Supervision and Administration bureau sent a total of 22 antitrust fines to technology companies such as Alibaba, Tencent and Meituan. On Saturday, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection — China’s anti-corruption watchdog — issued an article on the bureau’s web page titled “Set Traffic Lights for Capital Expansion,” showing the government’s determination on antitrust.