May 29, 2023
By Tsering Namgyal
Beijing released a rare whitepaper on Web3 last week charting out the nation’s ambitions to develop and harness the powers of the new technology and how it is fostering a Web3 digital ecosystem in the capital.
“Beijing Internet 3.0 Innovation and Development White Paper (2023)”, was released by the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission and the Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park Management Committee on May 27, according to local news outlet The Paper.
The paper said that Beijing city will spearhead the development of the Web3 industry in the country, quoting Yang Hongfu, director of the Management Committee of Zhongguancun Chaoyang Park. He said that Chaoyang District will invest no less than one hundred million yuan to support the Web3 eco-system in Beijing from this year. Zhongguancun is often dubbed as China’s Silicon Valley.
According to the “Three Year Action Plan for Internet 3.0 Innovation and Development of Chaoyang District (2023 to 2025)”, the goal is to build Chaoyang District into a “nationally leading Internet 3.0 industrial highland by 2025,” it said.
The timing of the release of the white paper, said CEO of Binance Chang Peng Zhao, was “interesting” as it comes on the heels of Hong Kong’s new crypto regime which goes into effect June 1.
Experts have called Hong Kong’s new crypto regulations, which would potentially allow retail investors to trade in digital assets, as a harbinger of a more laxed regulations in neighboring China. Although Beijing bans citizens from trading cryptocurrencies, it has now made no secret of its Web3 ambitions.
Some have even wondered how Hong Kong – with its new groundbreaking crypto rules – might play a role as a “testing ground” for China’s own future crypto regulatory regime.
The paper said that the Web3 is increasing gaining traction in the society and the capital markets are “gradually returning to rationality.”
While the paper did not mention Hong Kong’s new crypto norms, with the release of the new white paper it appears that the Beijing may be opening the industry in some form. Hope were raised last week when China’s state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) – whether wittingly or unwittingly – broadcast a segment about cryptocurrencies that featured the Bitcoin logo, which was a “big deal” according to Binance Zhao, as “Historically, coverages like these led to bull runs.” The segment was since taken down.
China is clearly conscious of the developments in Web3 taking place elsewhere- not just in Hong Kong. In terms of other nations, the paper acknowledged, “the US is leading the development in the Web3 industry, Europe is paying close attention to privacy and Japan and South Korea are striving to become the leader of the Web3 sector.”
Not be left behind, local governments in China are actively planning and developing Web 3 capabilities, it said, with more than 30 provinces and cities, having issued support policies, especially Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and other places.
Beijing will serve as the epicenter of the country’s Web3 development strategy.
Yet, the “White Paper” found out that “Internet 3.0 industry development in Beijing still faces challenges in terms of technology and talent, support capabilities, industrial chain integrity and regulatory norms.”
“In the next step, Beijing will strengthen policy support and organizational guarantees, speed up technological breakthroughs and the establishment of common platforms, promote the construction of “Internet 3.0+” application scenarios, do a good job in risk management and supervision and create a good ecosystem for Beijing’s Internet 3.0 innovation and development,” it said.
About the author
Tsering Namgyal is the chief content officer of NFTMetta.com.