Chinese State Media Agency To Issue Digital Art

China’s official news agency plans to release its digital collectibles, despite the country’s sweeping crackdown on crypto.

The Xinhua News Agency, the official state-run press agency for the People’s Republic of China, will issue digital art. The collectibles will mostly feature news photo reports from 2021 and use NFT tech.

The Chinese state agency is joining other publications that dropped NFTs. For example, the New York Times sold an NFT of a column about NFTs for $560,000.

However, the agency won’t boost its revenue with the sale – at least not directly. Instead, it will let users mint the digital art pieces on Friday, using its news app – for free. Due to the controversy behind digital art in China will likely do so due to the dispute behind digital art.

China has not yet outright banned NFTs. However, any firm trying to venture into the area needs to avoid annoying the authorities.  Moreover, Chinese state media have already issued warnings against “speculation” with digital tokens.

The technology behind the collectibles draws heavily from NFTs, digital tokens on the blockchain. NFTs – or non-fungible tokens, have close ties to crypto, an industry which China outright banned in September.

All crypto transactions are now illegal in China. The total ban followed a series of crackdowns on crypto mining, exchanges and investment. However, due to NFTs association with crypto, investors are treading carefully.

Chinese NFT Craze

However, despite warnings, the interest in NFTs and related concepts is booming. In particular, ever since Facebook changed its name to Meta, a metaverse frenzy has been sweeping China. As a result, investors believe that the space will be huge and that NFTs will be crucial for it.

That is why, despite warnings from authorities, Chinese investors are looking for clever workarounds to drop NFTs. Many of the companies offer their digital art for free. Others are trying to decuple NFTs from crypto completely. Some companies are dropping popular blockchain networks like Ethereum to avoid association with crypto. Instead, they opt to use closed networks.

For example, Alibaba opened a digital marketplace for NFTs on its tightly controlled blockchain platform. The platform, backed by Sichuan provincial government, would allow artists to sell their copyrighted material. Tencent, the other massive Chinese conglomerate, did the same thing.

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NFTs sold on networks like Ethereum can sell for millions. This has drawn attention from corporate giants like Nike, Adidas and tech companies Meta, Reddit and Twitter. So it is not hard to explain why Chinese investors and companies are enthusiastic about NFTs.

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