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China: Zhengzhou City proposes metaverse plan

China: Zhengzhou City proposes metaverse plan
The municipal government of Zhengzhou — the capital of China’s Henan Province — issued a set of policy proposals Wednesday aimed at supporting metaverse companies operating within its jurisdiction, with plans to establish a 10 billion yuan (US$1.42 billion) fund dedicated to the industry.

See related article: How Web3 in China is taking shape — with ‘Chinese characteristics’

Fast facts

The policies include a series of cash benefits to attract metaverse-related companies to set up shop in the city. 

According to a government report , metaverse companies that move their headquarters to Zhengzhou are eligible to receive a startup capital investment of up to 200 million yuan (US$28.34 million). Such companies will also be eligible for other benefits such as rent subsidies.

All companies developing metaverse use cases in the city —headquartered there or otherwise — will also be eligible to receive up to 5 million yuan (US$710,000) for every project certified as workable by the municipal government.

The policies apply to locally operating enterprises focused on two specific areas. First: research into metaverse-related technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and brain-computer interfaces. Second: the adoption of metaverse technologies for real-world industries like education, entertainment and commerce. 

To fund its metaverse initiatives, the municipal government of Zhengzhou plans to set up a 10 billion yuan metaverse industrial fund. It will work with other government agencies and investment firms to issue a further 50 billion yuan (US$7.08 billion) in funding to support metaverse-related development projects. The city will also provide cash rewards to metaverse companies if and when they are listed on China’s primary stock exchanges.

The exact launch date for the allocation of the funds has yet to be announced. 

Along with the funding policies it announced, the municipal government also mapped out its future vision for Zhengzhou’s metaverse development. It projects that the city’s metaverse-related industries will reach an annual revenue total of over 200 billion yuan (US$28.34 billion) by the end of 2025.

The plan lists blockchain as one of the key technologies in its projections for the metaverse industry, along with next-generation computer rendering, human-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence and more. 

To support the city’s metaverse industry, Zhengzhou will encourage the development of consortium and private blockchains . It will also establish a digital asset market based on non-fungible token (NFT) technology. 

Open-source public blockchains were not mentioned in the plan, however, in an indication of a possible stumbling block for Chinese authorities’ approach to blockchain technologies.

Zhengzhou has joined a plethora of Chinese cities and provinces vowing to become leaders in the country’s metaverse development. South-eastern metropolis Shanghai anticipates its metaverse industry to hit an annual revenue of 350 billion yuan by the end of 2023. It has also announced the launch of a 10 billion yuan metaverse industrial fund for launch July 2023.

See related article: China’s Henan state-owned investment group sets up US$22 mln metaverse fund shares this Contents always with License.

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