Chinese government launches NFTs and tech giants chase

China’s dizzying pace of digital innovation, and the sheer amount of venture capital needed to finance venture projects — excuse the redundancy — took a hit throughout 2021. After all, raising money abroad last year sounds like an unpatriotic sin. Challenges to law and order in unregulated areas.

The result of the Chinese government-run regulatory “hobby horse” from “everything can be done in the name of our technological progress” to “if it jeopardizes our social control, nothing can be done” is a huge brake on China. Promote the creative and innovative role of Chinese digital entrepreneurs.

No wonder the reference markets for artificial intelligence (AI), mobile payments and new retail have fallen behind the West on more current topics like NFTs, cryptocurrencies and the metaverse.

This week, however, the Blockchain Service Network (BSN), a partially state-owned entity tasked with regulating how blockchain-based solutions are used in China, soft-launched a framework for buying and selling unique digital items, known as collectibles, i.e. NFTs.

NFT tokens are all the rage and have become a relatively popular investment option in many Western markets, including Brazil. Some people find it absurd to invest in “exclusive” digital products, because a jpg or gif image, even when properly certified, is nothing more than a…jpg or gif image.

According to BSN rules, tokens created in China can only be traded in local currency with other Chinese citizens.

Be careful to ensure that NFTs do not become technologies used for money laundering, tax evasion, and ultimately destabilizing the local financial system.

Similar arguments have been used in the past to ban cryptocurrency trading in the country, which soon after had its own cryptocurrency backed by the central monetary authority, the e-renminbi.

Having settled on the rules of the game, two state-owned media companies, Shandong Satellite TV and Xinhua News Agency, released their first NFTs, in this case beautiful photos of archaeological sites and cultural architectural heritage in ancient Chinese cities. In both cases, the NFTs are not sold, but are “gifted” to ordinary citizens through an online lottery.

The fact that the public company launched this initiative, deep down, hopes to send a message: If the government company does it, the government will not object.

Following public moves, some large tech companies such as Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba have modestly rolled out NFT initiatives, as if testing the limits of the market and regulation.

In the new Chinese tech landscape, everyone seems to be taking great care to avoid breaking the rules. Central authorities are equally careful to strike a balance that allows its private sector to relive risky projects, while not depriving China of its hard-earned technological pioneers in different areas of the global digital economy.

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