• NFTs actually do not exist in China since they are technically referred to as 'digital collectibles' in the country
  • Unlike the rest of the world, NFTs in China are not allowed to be purchased using cryptocurrencies
  • China, however, appears to have embraced NFTs in its latest move

Known for its strict rules and regulations on cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), a new report about China stating that it is set to launch its first-ever, government-backed NFT marketplace is welcome news to new technology advocates in the country.

Despite NFT being a gray area in China over the past years, it looks like the East Asian country is ready to embrace the industry by launching a state-backed, regulated digital marketplace on Jan. 1, 2023, local news outlet Sina News reported Wednesday.

To celebrate the launch, a ceremony is set to take place in the country's capital, Beijing.

The platform will be run by the state-owned Chinese Technology Exchange, the state-owned Art Exhibitions China and a private entity Huban Digital Copyrights Ltd.

The upcoming marketplace, whose name translates to "China Digital Asset Trading Platform," will also serve as a platform to trade digital copyrights and property rights related to digital assets.

The platform's blockchain is reportedly called the "China Cultural Protection Chain." The project is created to "regulate and avoid the excessive speculation in secondary [NFT] markets," according to a person familiar with the matter.

"In terms of industry supervision and regulation, digital assets represent a new form of commerce, and much regarding laws, regulations and supervisory policies remains to be refined. Therefore, a deal of uncertainty exists," Yu Jianing, digital assets and metaverse developments expert in China, said.

"Platforms have a clear responsibility for the listing and trading of digital assets. Relative to intellectual property rights and digital copyrights, digital assets face a greater risk of regulatory soundness," the expert added.

Non-Fungible Tokens exploded in popularity in China, particularly among Chinese traders over the past couple of years, but unlike the rest of the world, NFTs in China are not allowed to be purchased using cryptocurrencies.

NFTs actually do not exist in China since they are technically referred to as "digital collectibles" in the country.

China's Hangzhou Internet Court, which handles internet-related legal issues, ruled last month that NFTs "have the object characteristics of property rights such as value, scarcity, controllability, and tradeability."

As for crypto, China recognizes possession of one as virtual property protected by law, although crypto exchanges have been banned in the country since last year. The country also banned Bitcoin mining giants in the region and passed a massive ban on the industry.

As for the metaverse, China is a bit welcoming of the idea. The Zhejiang Province of China recently announced its plans to develop a metaverse industry with an estimated cost of around $28.7 billion.

Illustration picture of China's yuan and Russia's rouble banknotes