Chinese city Zhengzhou has announced a plan to boost the metaverse industry by providing a significant 10 billion yuan ($1.42 billion) fund for local companies’ growth and development.
Although the People’s Bank of China banned digital assets in September 2021, the Asian power centre seems liberal towards the metaverse.
Under the new government’s draft, metaverse companies relocating their headquarters to Zhengzhou will have the opportunity to grab a start-up capital investment of up to 200 million yuan ($28.34 million).
In addition, the municipal government will provide a promising opportunity for companies operating in the metaverse sector within the city.
Chinese city Zhengzhou has released a policy draft to support the development of the metaverse industry with a $1.42 billion fund, aiming for a thriving metaverse industry by 2025 pic.twitter.com/5dLGj1Rmp1
— Cloud ☁️ (@Cloudie0x) May 29, 2023
For each project that receives certification as viable by the government, companies will have the chance to secure a substantial grant of 5 million yuan ($710,000), regardless of their headquarters location.
Moreover, the government is offering other benefits such as rent subsidies for the metaverse company within Zhengzhou.
Open for public to review
The draft is now available on the municipal government’s website for feedback and review by the public.
“The public is now open to solicit opinions, and all sectors of society are welcome to put forward their opinions and suggestions,” reads the translation.
Hence, the purposed plan is only a draft to date, and the government has not mentioned the specific date of the fund allocation.
The metaverse-related sectors in Zhengzhou are expected to generate annual revenues exceeding 200 billion yuan ($28.34 billion) by the end of 2025, according to the municipal government.
Amid speculation about China lifting an absolute ban on crypto, the public is taking this draft as positive news for the industry.
“More positive news for crypto from China, that’s great,” wrote a Redditor in reaction to the news.
“One positive thing after the other,” another agreed, hopeful of China’s liberal step towards the crypto industry.
Will China overtake the West?
Western industry leaders like Meta wanted to be the leaders in the metaverse, but are now pivoting towards AI. Whereas China appears to be positioning itself as a potential metaverse hub.
As part of its commitment to spearheading China’s digital advancement, Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, has also launched the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform.
Chinese cities are promoting the metaverse sector as the future of the digital economy.
— ICNN (@icnncryptonews) May 29, 2023
“The Metaverse is a vague concept and every [company] is interpreting it in its own way. In China, it’s very much a government-led concept,” said Brady Wang, an associate director at tech market research firm Counterpoint.
The Chinese government is clearly keen on the technology.
“The key difference [in the metaverse] between China and the rest of the world is it’d be heavily regulated in a centralized manner,” said Zhengyuan Bo, a partner at China-focused research firm Plenum.
Bo emphasised that the monetization of digital assets within the metaverse is constrained due to limited space for growth.
“I think in a decade or two, China will play a bigger role in everything than the US,” speculated one Redditor.
“America hates China because China doesn’t do what America wants it to. They hate it because it exists. I’m happy China is dedollarizing,” another Redditor expressed.