Chinese tech giants are hopeful of getting into the metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) business, despite a tough year at the hands of the country’s anti-crypto government. Heavyweights like JD.com and Alibaba have made plans on the matter, though regulations have forced them to make shallow name changes.
Under pressure from Beijing, which has cut their stock market value by billions by chopping off their wings this year, these companies are referring to NFTs using terms such as «digital collectibles . » They have also placed limits on trading in secondary markets, and these items will be sold on private blockchain networks, unlike NFTs which elsewhere are typically traded on Ethereum (ETH) and other well-known protocols.
However, in the face of the progress of their American, Japanese, South Korean and European rivals, it seems that Alibaba and its ilk feel that the limited progress they are allowed to make under strict Beijing control is better than standing still. .
According to an article from the Global Times, as well as Next Money and the South China Morning Post, many companies are leveraging their existing NFT businesses to deploy their strategies.
Thus, Alibaba created a new subsidiary, Yuanjing Shengsheng , and endowed it with a capital of 1.58 million dollars. «Sources» ( identified by the South China Morning Post as being employees of Alibaba) confirmed that the new subsidiary would be oriented towards the metaverse, without giving further details.
Other players could use international channels to advance their own expansion plans.
Gaming and entertainment giant Tencent probably believes it just can’t afford to be left behind in the metaverse race. The company’s domestic NFT business line is already active, but more inclusive metaverse projects may well be on the horizon. Chinese media have pointed out that Epic Games , an American games company in which Tencent has a 40% stake, is in the process of implementing its own metaverse projects, likely with backing from Tencent.
Tencent also has minority stakes in a series of other video game companies. In October, the Korea Times reported that the Chinese giant had made an investment in South Korean company NXN , following an earlier investment in Line Games company of the Japanese and South Korean application operator. cat Line .
Tencent CEO Ma Huateng reportedly told investors:
“The Metaverse is an exciting topic. I think Tencent has great technologies and capabilities in areas like games, social media, and AI to explore and develop the Metaverse.”
E-commerce player JD.com has released its very first NFTs (opting for the term «digital collections») — and seems happy with their reception. Without much fanfare, the company listed five sets of JOY dog-themed tokens on its Lingxi platform through its subsidiary JD Technology , which specializes in fintech and blockchain technology.
The company unveiled 2,000 coins in each series, pricing them at just over $ 1.50 each.
Search engine Baidu , meanwhile, continues to strengthen its involvement in «smart hardware» — seen as a cornerstone of meta verse developments — by supporting the efforts of its Nasdaq-listed iQIYI video streaming subsidiary .
However, the latter seems to be having difficulties if we are to believe China star market which indicated that the company had been forced to make «substantial» layoffs and increase subscription fees — a sign that all may not be well. Good…
Another Chinese gaming giant, NetEase (which also has stakes in a number of overseas gaming companies) has «filed dozens of meta verse-related patent applications,» according to the Global Times.
Either way, companies will take note of Beijing’s attitude towards NFTs and the development of metaverse. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has pledged to implement a digital yuan early next year, and will not take a positive view of anything in the digital space that threatens to cause harm. shadow to his new token.
The CCP-backed media has already made mention of the «huge bubble» in the NFT markets and suggested that new regulations related to NFTs may be needed in China.