Reports said that the Beijing municipal government has announced a two-year (2022–2024) Metaverse innovation and development plan that would require all districts to adhere to the newly released Web3 innovation plan.
It has been reported that the development action plan refers to the Metaverse as a new generation of information technology integration and innovation that would drive the growth of the internet toward Web3. The innovation plan focuses on promoting the development of Metaverse-related industries and helping Beijing build a benchmark city for the digital economy.
However, the action plan demands that various districts build technological infrastructure at a city level and promote its use in various fields, including education and tourism. The development program would see the Integration of technical means such as 3D visualization and GIS (Geographic Information System) to build a visual urban space digital platform and appropriately advance the layout of digital native intelligent infrastructure.
A Google Translate transcript of the official document read:
"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."
The report said that the Metaverse development action plan has also instructed districts and municipalities to offer financial and human resource support to build a virtual reality. The Beijing municipal government also demanded tracking nonfungible token (NFT) technology trends and exploring regulatory sandbox programs to support innovation.
While China is known for its anti-crypto stance, the government has shown interest in the Metaverse concept since early 2021. Before Beijing, Shanghai also included the Metaverse in the five-year development plan. The government’s interest in nascent tech hasn’t resulted in any favorable regulations for tech companies exploring the same idea.
As reported in July, Tencent had to shut down one of the two NFT platforms owing to declining sales aided by the regressive monetary policies of the Chinese government. Similarly, Alibaba had to hide all mentions of its NFT marketplace just hours after its launch.
Thus, over the past couple of months, two major cities in China have announced multi-year action plans with the Metaverse and NFTs in focus. The rising interest of the Chinese government towards leading Web3 technologies could lead to wider adoption in the country, quite similar to its central bank digital currency (CBDC), which is used by millions in the pilot phase itself.