A Chinese district, Jiangning, which is within the Nanjing City has outlined an ambitious three-year metaverse development roadmap which should transform it into a multi-billion dollar metaverse hub.
The plan is to also compete with other Chinese cities, as the Asian country fast grows into a metaverse hotbed, which is also in line with its digitalization plan.
Several Chinese cities are taking up the challenge and jostling to be leaders in metaverse development.
The district made the announcement at a joint summit on metaverse and AI-generated content at the Jiangning High-tech Development Zone, which is an industrial park specialized in software development among others tech stuff.
Among its key focus areas, the plan also lists AI, virtual reality, blockchain and brain-computer interface as well as developing 50 research centres in these areas.
Multi-billion dollar plan
According to the plan, the first year is expected to attract at least 60 metaverse startups with a total industry valuation of over half a billion dollars.
The second year should see the figure double to 120 firms with a combined valuation of $1.3 billion.
Jiangning envisions a vibrant metaverse industry in the third year of implementation of the roadmap with an estimated 200 service providers with a total market value of $2.7 billion.
The plan will also promote cooperation between local firms and academics and train 10 000 students into metaverse experts within the three-year timeframe.
During the same summit, 16 metaverse related project proposals were also unveiled. The projects are expected to be built in the development zone cutting across cloud computing, big data, education and healthcare with a total investment of 8.1 billion yuan or $1.13 billion.
Nanjing city is among other Chinese cities that are vying to become a big brother in that country’s metaverse evolution. Beijing led the race and announced a two-year metaverse strategy to boost its tourism industry.
Other cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Zhengzhou trailed, announcing 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.
Shanghai, which is China’s most populated city as well as largest financial services hub is targeting to grow a $50 billion metaverse industry by 2025, attract 1 000 blockchain, crypto and metaverse companies as well as support 40 000 virtual jobs.
For Nanjing, which is the provincial capital of China’s Jiangsu Province, the city published an ambitious plan in February this year whose goal is to create a metaverse industry with capacity to generate about 135 billion yuan or $19.13 billion in annual revenues.
Nanjing already breaking new ground
The three-year plan is not Jiangning’s first move towards establishing a huge metaverse industry. The district has invested over 800 million yuan or $112 million for the development of a metaverse industrial building, which shelters metaverse companies.
As early as May 2022, the district had started to reward metaverse firms with monetary benefits.
Its plans are part of Nanjing’s plan of becoming a metaverse hub for the country. Nanjing is already making big moves as in May it launched the “Blockchain Technology Platform of China.” The platform is meant to improve metaverse studies across the whole of China.
Outside China, Dubai is another city vying to be a global metaverse hub, with a strategy that entails growing a vast industry that will add $4 billion into its economy in the next five years, according to The Fintech Times.