Suzhou, a city of 12 million people in China’s Jiangsu Province, released a plan on Wednesday to become a hub for metaverse development and innovation, aiming to attract more than 200 companies working in the virtual reality technology industry by 2025.

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Fast facts

  • Suzhou said its metaverse initiative will focus on areas, including healthcare, tourism, education, and city administration. The city has not disclosed the budget for its metaverse development plan.
  • It aims to be host to metaverse-related industries worth 200 billion yuan (US$29.77 billion) by 2025, though it will have plenty of competition from other cities in China.
  • Shanghai, the country’s financial capital, also plans to develop metaverse industries and launched its first metaverse industrial fund in December 2022, which aims to raise 1 billion yuan (US$149 million).
  • Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Jinan, and the provinces of Zhejiang and Henan have all published plans for metaverse development.
  • Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is also focused on metaverse development and aims to be in the top five nations in the field by 2026. It has started what it calls Metaverse Seoul to start providing services on the digital platform to residents of the capital city.

(Updates city’s metaverse focus in first bullet point, clarifies yuan goal in second .)

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