Beijing’s Chaoyang District to Invest RMB 100 Million Annually to Foster Web 3.0 Ecosystem

In the Web 3.0: Future Internet Industry Development Forum held today at Zhongguancun, Yang Hongfu, the director of Zhongguancun Chaoyang Park Management Committee, announced a significant development plan. Starting this year, Beijing’s Chaoyang District will invest at least RMB 100 million annually into the development and growth of the Web 3.0 industry ecosystem.

This investment is aligned with the district’s three-year action plan titled “Chaoyang District Web 3.0 Innovative Development Action Plan (2023-2025).” By 2025, the district aims to position itself as a leading hub for Web 3.0 industry nationwide.

Web 3.0 represents the next phase of the internet, focusing on creating more intelligent, decentralized, and personalized web experiences. This forward-thinking initiative reflects the local government’s ambition to foster innovation and technological advancement, positioning Chaoyang at the forefront of this transformative industry.

With the annual investment, Beijing’s Chaoyang District seeks to catalyze the growth of the Web 3.0 industry and facilitate the development of a vibrant tech ecosystem. The move is expected to attract cutting-edge companies, ambitious startups, and innovative talent to the district, fostering a culture of innovation and technology.


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Beijing Launches Two-Year Metaverse Development Plan

The Beijing municipal government has announced a two-year (2022 – 2024) Metaverse innovation and development plan that will require all districts to follow the newly released Web3 innovation program guidelines.

The development action plan describes the ‘Metaverse’ as a new generation of information technology integration and innovation that will drive the growth of the internet towards Web3, which includes the development of virtual worlds on the internet.

The innovation plan aims to promote the development of Metaverse-related industries and help Beijing to establish a benchmark city for the digital economy.

The action plan expects all districts to develop technological infrastructure at a city level and promote its use in various fields, such as education and tourism.

The development program would see technical means like 3D visualization and GIS (Geographic Information System) integrated to develop a visual urban space digital platform and efficiently build a digital native intelligent infrastructure layout.

The Metaverse development action plan also directed districts and municipalities to provide financial and human resource support to develop virtual reality.

The city government further instructed districts and municipalities to track nonfungible token (NFT) technology trends and explore regulatory sandbox programs to support innovation.

The official document stated the Beijing government’s metaverse goals: “Promote digital education scenarios, support in-depth cooperation between Metaverse-related technology companies and educational institutions, expand intelligent and interactive online education models, and develop industry-wide digital teaching platforms.”

What Does the Metaverse In China Look Like?

Although China is known for its anti-crypto stance, the government has shown interest in the Metaverse since early last year.

Metaverse matters in the post-COVID time. The virtual world enables people to socialize, communicate, trade, and do business without physical boundaries.

The Metaverse is a virtual world that is parallel to the physical world. In the Metaverse, greater overlap of physical and digital lives is possible – in work, socialization, productivity, shopping, and entertainment domains.

The Metaverse is enabled by certain advanced technologies, such as Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR).

Enabled by specific technologies, the Metaverse opens new opportunities for businesses, investors, and developers in several ways. Chinese market players are well aware of this and have shown their willingness to venture into the virtual world.

In the previous year alone, more than 1,000 Chinese firms, including giants like Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings Ltd, have applied for around 10,000 metaverse-related trademarks.

From the Chinese government’s perspective, several local governments have begun to include the Metaverse in their work for 2022.

In December 2021, Shanghai released a five-year development plan, encouraging metaverse use in business offices, public services, and other areas.

In April this year, the Guangzhou Huangpu District and Guangzhou Development Zone issued a Metaverse supporting policy focusing on metaverse innovation and development. Zhejiang, Wuxi and other provinces and cities are also in related industrial plans. 

This shows that China’s provinces want to develop their own version of the Metaverse that fits their economic system.

Image source: Shutterstock


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U.S. Should Examine Chinese Digital Yuan Rollout during Winter Olympics: Senator Toomey

Senator Pat Toomey, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, requested the U.S. administration to closely examine the Chinese digital yuan’s rollout during Beijing Winter Olympics. - 2022-02-07T151409.224.jpg

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken last Friday (February 4), he criticized China is using the Beijing Winter Olympics as “an international test for the digital yuan (e-CNY), which has been piloted domestically since 2019.”

“Given the prospective threat to U.S. economic and national security interests, I request that the Treasury and State Departments closely examine Beijing’s CBDC rollout during the Olympic Games.”

Citing analysts that China utilizes “e-CNY to subvert U.S. sanctions, facilitate illicit financial flows, enhance China’s surveillance capabilities and provide Beijing with a ‘first-mover advantage, such as setting standards for cross-border digital payments.”

At the time of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Olympic Village, athletes and tourists can use cash, Visa cards or digital yuan for transactions.

In China, local payment firm WeChat becomes compatible with payments using the digital yuan ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, owner Tencent Holdings said.

The Digital Yuan (e-CNY), China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is growing at a fast pace as data released by Zou Lan, director of the PBoC financial markets department revealed the new legal tender has inked a total of 87.57 billion yuan ($13.68 billion) in transactions since public trials began, according to CNBC.

Chinese regulators will be looking forward to using the casino licensing opportunity in Macau to test the digital yuan in 2022, Reuters reported.

On January 5, 2021, reported by Blockchain.News, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) extended its pilot tests for the digital yuan to launch a new mobile wallet. The new wallet is available to a select few as it is still in the development phase.

However, China’s crackdown last year resulted in providing an opportunity for the United States to be a pioneer in crypto innovation. Decentralized and unlicensed online money was considered a threat to Beijing’s digitization. Chinese regulators have banned cryptocurrency activity locally. Tommey believes the U.S. should take this opportunity to embrace crypto innovations, based on “individual liberty and other American and democratic principles.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Shanghai includes Metaverse in its development plan

Shanghai, China’s most crowded city, is looking for ways to use metaverse in public services over the next five years.

Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology’s five-year development plan for the electronic information industry listed four frontiers for exploration, and one of them is metaverse.

According to a CNBC report, the paper called for promoting the metaverse’s use in public services, business offices, social leisure, industrial manufacturing, production safety, and electronic games. The commission plans to encourage further study and development of underlying technologies, such as sensors, real-time interactions and blockchain technology.

China’s interest in new technology has been unwavering in recent years. China’s efforts to establish a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and its use of digital biometric hardware wallets for the virtual yuan have cemented it as a leader in the issuance of a CBDC.

In March, China’s State Council released its 5-year development plan that included many of these same fronts for exploration. As reported by Cointelegraph, the term “blockchain” was used for the first time in China’s 14th five-year plan, a document that outlines the country’s economic goals for the next five years, which runs from 2021 through 2025.

Related: Chinese companies embark on a metaverse trademark race

The metaverse has become an area of interest for many major companies in recent months. In October, Facebook changed its name to Meta in order to bank on the popularity of the term metaverse.

Despite the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) warning on metaverse and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in November, over 1,000 Chinese businesses have filed tens of thousands of trademark applications that reference the term. More than 1,360 Chinese businesses have applied for 8,534 trademarks, according to the South China Morning Post.

Chinese companies are in the process of developing metaverse technologies, with Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba among those aggressively working on related projects. Last week, Baidu debuted its XiRang metaverse app, which will fully launch in six years.