Zhengzhou City proposes metaverse plan

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The munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment of Zhengzhou — the cap­i­tal of China’s Henan Province — issued a set of pol­i­cy pro­pos­als Wednes­day aimed at sup­port­ing meta­verse com­pa­nies oper­at­ing with­in its juris­dic­tion, with plans to estab­lish a 10 bil­lion yuan (US$1.42 bil­lion) fund ded­i­cat­ed to the industry.

See relat­ed arti­cle: How Web3 in Chi­na is tak­ing shape — with ‘Chi­nese characteristics’

Fast facts

  • The poli­cies include a series of cash ben­e­fits to attract meta­verse-relat­ed com­pa­nies to set up shop in the city. 
  • Accord­ing to a gov­ern­ment report, meta­verse com­pa­nies that move their head­quar­ters to Zhengzhou are eli­gi­ble to receive a start­up cap­i­tal invest­ment of up to 200 mil­lion yuan (US$28.34 mil­lion). Such com­pa­nies will also be eli­gi­ble for oth­er ben­e­fits such as rent subsidies.
  • All com­pa­nies devel­op­ing meta­verse use cas­es in the city —head­quar­tered there or oth­er­wise — will also be eli­gi­ble to receive up to 5 mil­lion yuan (US$710,000) for every project cer­ti­fied as work­able by the munic­i­pal government.
  • The poli­cies apply to local­ly oper­at­ing enter­pris­es focused on two spe­cif­ic areas. First: research into meta­verse-relat­ed tech­nolo­gies such as vir­tu­al real­i­ty, aug­ment­ed real­i­ty and brain-com­put­er inter­faces. Sec­ond: the adop­tion of meta­verse tech­nolo­gies for real-world indus­tries like edu­ca­tion, enter­tain­ment and commerce. 
  • To fund its meta­verse ini­tia­tives, the munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment of Zhengzhou plans to set up a 10 bil­lion yuan meta­verse indus­tri­al fund. It will work with oth­er gov­ern­ment agen­cies and invest­ment firms to issue a fur­ther 50 bil­lion yuan (US$7.08 bil­lion) in fund­ing to sup­port meta­verse-relat­ed devel­op­ment projects. The city will also pro­vide cash rewards to meta­verse com­pa­nies if and when they are list­ed on China’s pri­ma­ry stock exchanges.
  • The exact launch date for the allo­ca­tion of the funds has yet to be announced. 
  • Along with the fund­ing poli­cies it announced, the munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment also mapped out its future vision for Zhengzhou’s meta­verse devel­op­ment. It projects that the city’s meta­verse-relat­ed indus­tries will reach an annu­al rev­enue total of over 200 bil­lion yuan (US$28.34 bil­lion) by the end of 2025.
  • The plan lists blockchain as one of the key tech­nolo­gies in its pro­jec­tions for the meta­verse indus­try, along with next-gen­er­a­tion com­put­er ren­der­ing, human-com­put­er inter­faces, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and more. 
  • To sup­port the city’s meta­verse indus­try, Zhengzhou will encour­age the devel­op­ment of con­sor­tium and pri­vate blockchains. It will also estab­lish a dig­i­tal asset mar­ket based on non-fun­gi­ble token (NFT) technology. 
  • Open-source pub­lic blockchains were not men­tioned in the plan, how­ev­er, in an indi­ca­tion of a pos­si­ble stum­bling block for Chi­nese author­i­ties’ approach to blockchain technologies.
  • Zhengzhou has joined a pletho­ra of Chi­nese cities and provinces vow­ing to become lead­ers in the country’s meta­verse devel­op­ment. South-east­ern metrop­o­lis Shang­hai antic­i­pates its meta­verse indus­try to hit an annu­al rev­enue of 350 bil­lion yuan by the end of 2023. It has also announced the launch of a 10 bil­lion yuan meta­verse indus­tri­al fund for launch July 2023.

See relat­ed arti­cle: China’s Henan state-owned invest­ment group sets up US$22 mln meta­verse fund

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