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Sichuan’s ambitious metaverse plan to empower digital economy in 2 years

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Sichuan, a province in South Western China, has laid out a plan to attract leading metaverse firms to set up shop in the region in a strong show of intent to embrace blockchain technology.

Provincial administrators announced a draft action plan to build new industrial parks to house the incoming metaverse firms. The document proposes a two-year time frame for the province to achieve its objectives, launching a public consultation to seek expert opinion on the matter.

“In order to focus on strengthening the layout of the new track, deepening the empowerment of digital technology, and cultivating new momentum for development, our office has drafted the Sichuan Metaverse Industry Development Action Plan (2023-2025), now open to the public for comments” read the announcement.

The public consultation is scheduled to run for a week “due to the need to advance key tasks,” with the provincial administrators urging industry stakeholders and academics to submit feedback.

The proposed plan entails the improvement of the existing infrastructure for blockchain, focusing on interoperability and privacy. The document revealed that the protection of the personal data of users will be given priority in its metaverse quest.

Apart from attracting global metaverse service providers, Sichuan nurses the ambitions of growing its local metaverse companies from scratch. The local government is eyeing the development of at least 15 homegrown metaverse firms, which will be vital in growing the valuation of its industry to $34 billion before the end of 2025.

Sichuan, once a hub for BTC mining, is seeking to play a leading role in China’s blockchain ecosystem following the blanket ban on digital currencies in 2021. Following the digital crackdown by Chinese authorities, several Sichuan miners fled the country for friendlier jurisdictions, including Kazakhstan.

Sichuan’s administrators hope to deepen the blockchain talent pool for metaverse service providers seeking to operate in the province. The region is already playing an advanced role in the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot, which pundits say could be the default currency in the metaverse.

China makes a play for the metaverse

Several Chinese cities are interested in using the metaverse to improve their digital economies. Nanjing City unveiled its metaverse ambition with a grand plan to attract 200 metaverse companies to the city after renaming a faculty in its university to reflect its goals.

Beijing shared a two-year plan designed to create thousands of jobs while improving its legacy tourism sectors via integration with virtual worlds.

In May, state-owned investment group Henan Cultural Tourism Investment Group announced a $22 million investment fund for companies building on the metaverse across Mainland China.

Lise Li: BSV Blockchain in China

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