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China’s Nanjing City Takes the Lead in Metaverse Innovation

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In a remarkable move towards embracing the futuristic potential of the metaverse, China’s Nanjing City has unveiled a state-backed initiative aimed at fostering innovation and research in this burgeoning field. The “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” has been introduced to bring together the collective resources of academic institutions and businesses across the country, with the goal of advancing metaverse-related research and development.

Leading the charge is Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST), an esteemed academic institution known for its pioneering efforts in technology and education. NUIST, along with other academic institutions and blockchain-related companies, aims to solidify China’s position as a frontrunner in metaverse development through collaborative endeavors. This collaborative effort seeks to harness the potential of the metaverse and drive innovation in various sectors.

NUIST has already taken significant steps towards metaverse exploration. In September 2022, the university launched China’s first metaverse major, recognizing the growing importance of this field. Building on this momentum, NUIST established a dedicated department for wearable virtual reality devices in April 2023, further demonstrating its commitment to pushing the boundaries of immersive technology.

Nanjing City is locked in fierce competition with other Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, to become a key hub for metaverse development. In February 2023, Nanjing unveiled its metaverse strategy, aiming to cultivate a thriving industry that is projected to generate annual revenues exceeding 135 billion yuan ($19.13 billion) by 2025. Shanghai, on the other hand, has already showcased 20 metaverse use cases, including virtual hospital diagnoses and digital recreations of historic landmarks, as it sets its sights on achieving an annual revenue of 350 billion yuan by 2025.

Despite China’s strict stance on cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the country’s policymakers and government-affiliated think tanks recognize the transformative power of Web3 technologies, including the metaverse, for the digital economy. Wu Zhong-ze, former deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, stressed the importance of expanding metaverse applications in critical sectors like education, commerce, healthcare, and entertainment. He further emphasized the need for establishing industry standards to drive the metaverse’s sustainable growth.

The establishment of the “Blockchain Technology and Application Innovation Platform of China” in Nanjing serves as a testament to the country’s acknowledgement of the immense potential held within the metaverse. China’s commitment to research, development, and healthy competition in the rapidly evolving digital landscape is evident through this significant initiative. By bringing together academia, businesses, and government support, Nanjing City is positioning itself as a metaverse innovation hub, fostering an ecosystem that encourages collaboration and breakthrough advancements.

As the world eagerly watches China’s foray into the metaverse, Nanjing City stands at the forefront of this transformative wave. With cutting-edge research, pioneering initiatives, and an unwavering commitment to technology-driven progress, Nanjing’s state-backed metaverse initiative is poised to shape the future of this digital realm. The quest for the metaverse’s full potential is gaining momentum, and Nanjing City is leading the charge.