Chinese City Mulls Over Plan to Become a Global Metaverse Hub

  1. The Zhengzhou government is aiming to become a metaverse hub.
  2. The capital of China’s Henan province will offer cash benefits and incentives to metaverse firms.
  3. Aside from blockchain, Zhengzhou is also interested in AI and human-computer interfaces.

The municipal government of Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan province, has announced a series of policy proposals aimed at supporting metaverse companies operating within its jurisdiction. These policies include cash benefits and incentives to attract metaverse-related companies to establish their headquarters in Zhengzhou.

Under the new policies, metaverse companies that relocate their headquarters to Zhengzhou may receive a startup capital investment of up to 200 million yuan ($28.34 million) and other benefits such as rent subsidies. Additionally, all companies developing metaverse use cases in the city, whether headquartered there or not, will be eligible for up to 5 million yuan (around $710,000) for each certified workable project.

The policies specifically target two areas: research into metaverse-related technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and brain-computer interfaces, and the application of metaverse technologies in real-world industries such as education, entertainment, and commerce.

To fund these metaverse initiatives, the municipal government of Zhengzhou plans to establish a 10 billion yuan metaverse industrial fund. It will also collaborate with other government agencies and investment firms to provide a further 50 billion yuan ($7.08 billion) in funding to support metaverse-related development projects. Furthermore, the city intends to offer cash rewards to metaverse companies upon their listing on China’s primary stock exchanges.

The specific launch date for the allocation of funds has not been announced yet. The government envisions that by the end of 2025, Zhengzhou’s metaverse-related industries will generate an annual revenue exceeding 200 billion yuan ($28.34 billion).

The municipal government’s plan for metaverse development in Zhengzhou includes key technologies such as blockchain, next-generation computer rendering, human-computer interfaces, and artificial intelligence. 

The proposal aims to support the development of consortium and private blockchains and establish a digital asset market based on non-fungible token (NFT) technology. However, the plan does not mention open-source public blockchains, which may indicate a potential challenge for the Chinese authorities’ approach to blockchain technologies.

Zhengzhou is among several Chinese cities and provinces aspiring to become leaders in the country’s metaverse development. Shanghai, for example, expects its metaverse industry to generate an annual revenue of 350 billion yuan by the end of 2023 and has announced the launch of a 10 billion yuan metaverse industrial fund scheduled for July 2023.

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Jesus Dawal Jr covers news related to the crypto space in Asia and in Australia, although he follows the latest events in the US and Europe as well. He is most interested in the blockchain gaming and regulation aspects of the industry.