Chinese city launches gov’t-backed metaverse platform

On May 22, Nanjing, the capital city of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, inaugurated the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform to foster and advance metaverse research and development across the country.

The newly established state-backed entity is led by the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST). As per an announcement on NUIST’s official social media account, the platform consists of founding members representing diverse academic institutions and metaverse-related companies throughout mainland China.

The platform aims to bring together the resources of academic institutions and enterprises in China, strengthening research endeavors in metaverse-related fields. The metaverse refers to a virtual universe or collective virtual space encompassing all virtual worlds, augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. It is an interconnected digital realm where users can interact with each other and with computer-generated environments in real time.

Nanjing and other Chinese cities are competing to take a prominent position in the country’s metaverse development. In February 2023, the city revealed its metaverse strategy, aiming to create a thriving industry with annual revenues surpassing 135 billion yuan ($19.13 billion) by the close of 2025.

The city of Shanghai is actively pursuing its metaverse aspirations, predicting its metaverse industry will reach annual revenue of 350 billion yuan ($49.6 billion) by 2025. Shanghai recently presented its initial collection of 20 metaverse use cases, covering diverse areas such as virtual healthcare diagnoses and digital recreations of the city’s historic architectural landmarks.

Related: China state-owned Greenland to apply for Hong Kong virtual asset trading license

Although China maintains strict regulations on cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokensNFTs, it acknowledges the transformative power of Web3 technologies, including the metaverse, in driving its digital economy.

In a recent report from local media, Wu Zhong-ze, the former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, highlighted the importance of expanding the use of the metaverse in various sectors, including education, commerce, healthcare and entertainment. He also emphasized the necessity of establishing industry standards for the metaverse.

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