In a bold move to bolster the development of metaverse technologies, the municipal government of Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan Province, unveiled a set of ambitious policies aimed at attracting and nurturing metaverse companies within its jurisdiction. The policies include the establishment of a substantial 10 billion yuan (US$1.42 billion) fund dedicated to supporting the metaverse industry.
Under the proposed policies, metaverse companies that relocate their headquarters to Zhengzhou will be eligible to receive a startup capital investment of up to 200 million yuan (US$28.34 million). Additionally, these companies will enjoy other benefits, such as rent subsidies, incentivizing them to shop in the city.
Furthermore, all companies engaged in developing metaverse use cases in Zhengzhou, regardless of their headquarters’ location, will have the opportunity to receive up to 5 million yuan (US$710,000) for each project certified as workable by the municipal government.
The policies apply to local enterprises researching metaverse-related technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and brain-computer interfaces, as well as those focusing on adopting metaverse technologies in real-world industries such as education, entertainment, and commerce.
The municipal government plans to establish a 10 billion yuan metaverse industrial fund to finance these metaverse initiatives. Additionally, it aims to collaborate with other government agencies and investment firms to issue a further 50 billion yuan (US$7.08 billion) in funding to support the development of metaverse-related projects. Moreover, the city will offer metaverse companies cash rewards upon listing on China’s primary stock exchanges.
While an exact launch date for the allocation of funds has yet to be announced, the municipal government of Zhengzhou has not only provided details on its funding policies. Still, it has also outlined its vision for the future of metaverse development in the city.
The government projects that the metaverse-related industries in Zhengzhou will achieve annual revenue of over 200 billion yuan (US$28.34 billion) by the end of 2025.
The city’s metaverse development plan acknowledges the significance of blockchain technology, alongside next-generation computer rendering, human-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence, and more, in driving the growth of the metaverse industry.
To support the local metaverse sector, Zhengzhou intends to encourage the development of consortium and private blockchains while establishing a digital asset market based on non-fungible token (NFT) technology.
Although the plan does not explicitly mention open-source, public blockchains, this omission suggests potential challenges for the authorities’ approach to blockchain technologies in China.
Zhengzhou joins a growing list of Chinese cities and provinces vying to become leaders in the country’s metaverse development. Shanghai, a thriving metropolis in the southeast, anticipates its metaverse industry to achieve an annual revenue of 350 billion yuan by the end of 2023. The city has also announced plans to launch a 10 billion yuan metaverse industrial fund scheduled for July 2023.
As the metaverse revolution gains momentum in China, Zhengzhou’s commitment to providing substantial financial support and fostering a favorable business environment is expected to attract innovative companies, drive technological advancements, and solidify its position as a hub for metaverse development in the region.
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