As the race for metaverse development continues, Shandong Province in China has released draft guidelines to develop an ambitious 150 billion yuan, or $20.5 billion, metaverse market by 2025.
As part of its plan, the province seeks to develop metaverse-related industrial parks and nurture at least 100 metaverse firms.
Shandong joins other provinces of China, like Sichuan, that have also laid strategies for building vast and diverse metaverse industries and claiming the top spot in digital economies.
Diverse digital ecosystem
The authorities in the province released a set of draft guidelines, seeking feedback from the market for setting up a vast metaverse economy as they seek to outpace other provinces in China and become leaders in the digital concept.
According to the guidelines, a metaverse is “a novel virtual and physical integrated digital space that combines various information technologies such as virtual reality, digital twinning, blockchain, the internet of things, 5G and 6G, as well as artificial intelligence.”
The broad description of the metaverse is reflective of Shandong’s seriousness in becoming a leader in the metaverse industry, leveraging technologies for a vast digital ecosystem.
Although China banned all cryptocurrency trades in 2021, the country is still looking at developing its own blockchain technology, with tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent building their own consortium blockchain.
The country has indicated plans to build blockchain infrastructure in Shanghai by 2025, and implementation of the project was given a 2023–2025 time frame, according to that city’s governor.
Part of a national strategy
Under the plan, the Shandong local government will assist companies in applying for at least 3,000 domestic and international patents by 2025.
The plan by Shandong, which is China’s second-most populous province after Guangdong, is also in line with the country’s broader initiative to grow a diverse metaverse industry and become a global leader in the sector.
In May, the government released a paper promoting innovation and development in the Web 3.0 industry.
The Chinese administration also wants Beijing to become a global innovation center for the digital economy. Beijing itself has led the race for metaverse development and announced a two-year strategy to boost its tourism industry.
Not long ago, Sichuan Province also released its draft guidelines, which should see the province expand its metaverse industry to $34.5 billion by 2025.
According to Cryptopolitan, these developments show that Shandong’s plan “to dominate the metaverse and blockchain spaces is part of the larger national strategy.”
A battle of cities in China
In June this year, a district known as Jiangning, which is within Nanjing City, outlined a three-year metaverse development roadmap aimed at transforming it into a multi-billion dollar metaverse hub.
Just like Shandong province, Jiangning’s plan also listed blockchain, AI, virtual reality, and brain-computer interface, as well as developing 50 research centers in these areas.
Other Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Zhengzhou have also announced their ambitious plans to be leaders in the concept in that country, in line with the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party, which seeks to strengthen its digitalization.