Chinese local authorities have for the first time included the metaverse in their plans for the current year while awaiting potential government approval for the new digital space to be implemented.
China is getting serious about cutting-edge technology
In its recent note, the Shanghai Municipal Commission called for “encourage the implementation of the metaverse in the following sectors: utilities, corporate offices, social entertainment, industrial manufacturing, production security and electronic games. »
According to local reports, the city of Wuhan “aims to promote the integration of the real economy with technology industries related to the metaverse, the big data and at cloud computing ».
Meanwhile Hefei, a city in eastern China’s Anhui Province, said it will also support upcoming industries like metaverse and superconductivity.
Chinese tech giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, aren’t standing aside either, and are planning to jump into the metaverse. In turn, the Baidu company, which has its own search engine, stressed that it believes in the future of the metaverse, which is likely to be built in 6 years.
At the same time, in the West, Apple is reportedly considering entering the augmented reality and virtual reality market, which could generate new revenue beyond their iPhone lines.
East and west, however, should blaze different paths to this promised land that consists of what we would call perfected AutoCAD and even more immersive games.
In particular, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, suggested that NFTs and IDs would generally be based on crypto technologies to ensure interoperability between platforms.
The development timeframe is ten years, by which time Ethereum will have matured considerably with the deployment of a second layer.
This should facilitate global accounting and data ownership, but currently no one can tell you when full implementation will be complete.
In China, a regulatory regime hostile to all activities related to cryptocurrency and crypto innovation is causing blockchain there to become something of a caricature.
“Tencent’s NFT trading app called ‘Magic Core’ has caught the attention of collectors (even though nowadays NFTs sold cannot be traded second-hand and are not even transferable as gifts)”, explains Jing Daily.
Xinhua has released some 11 NFTs which are apparently more like “digital collectibles” that you cannot transfer or trade. So there is no actual token that works on a public blockchain because these tokens actually only represent a jpeg.
So the metaverse will clearly be much more controlled in China as their one-party state obviously cannot allow immutable posting of images, words or designs on the interplanetary file system (IPFS) linked by a hash to the blockchain immutable and uncensorable. So it turns out that they put JPEG files in a centralized database calling them non-fungible tokens.
This fearful approach to ambitious new innovation in art and technology through NFTs is due to an anti-innovation agenda of Xi Jinping’s administration.
In a letter published today, Xi spoke about the “strengthening, optimizing and continuously developing China’s digital economy. »
In a usually dense bureaucratic speech, Xi asserts:
“Compared to other digital economies, China’s digital economy is big but not strong, fast but not excellent…
The digital economy is a strategic choice aimed at seizing the new opportunities of the new cycle of technological revolution and industrial transformation. The healthy development of the digital economy promotes the construction of a new development model, a modern economic system and new national competitive advantages. »
However, the truth is that he “slapped” arguably China’s most innovative entrepreneur, Jack Ma, and other technologists, while verbally claiming he only wanted to warn that the digital economy “also has unhealthy and irregular signs and tendencies.”
One such sign could well be “gamblers” of gamblers discussing seemingly insignificant gambling-related topics, which Xi clearly sees as bordering on politics. Therefore, his ingenious solution was to limit games to a few hours during weekends.
The consequences of such management
This thirst for micro-management is probably one of the main reasons why China’s digital economy is “ big but not strong, fast but not excellent “. Despite the country turning to NFTs, this state of affairs may persist for decades.
Whatever NFTs are, they promise to preserve the archives of current art for decades to come, but to keep things in check, China doesn’t hesitate to ban them.
That said, in two or three decades, future generations may well think that China doesn’t really have contemporary art or digital art because their works aren’t represented on the blockchain.
As for the country’s prospects in this regard, history teaches us that there are periods of great leaps, but the speed of independent national development is often not sufficient to catch up easily.
The issue of content storage and retention doesn’t require an instant decision, but the lack of public debate in China may well mean that this issue has not received nuanced consideration.
As a result, some are confident the government will soften at a massive rally scheduled for October, where the political elite will decide whether Xi should begin his unconstitutional third term, which will officially make him dictator.
There are many rumors swirling about what he will or won’t do, as the positioning continues, but Xi is now the only big-economy leader to have effectively led the country since the advent of bitcoin in 2013.
So no one knows what the crypto industry would have looked like under another president, but thanks to Xi, it’s pretty clear that crypto innovation could die in the world’s most populous country.
As China promotes jpegs instead of non-fungible tokens, the development of the metaverse on the territory of this country seems to continue in a rather moderate way compared to the other major economies. We will follow the evolution of the situation, so do not hesitate to stay on Cointribune to be up to date!
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