TL; DR Breakdown
- Chinese firms are joining the non-fungible token (NFT) bandwagon. Corporates including Alibaba and Tencent have led the way in the adoption of NFTs.
- Other players like McDonald’s, DHL, and JD have followed suit. The spike in their interest defies China’s continuing censorship of cryptocurrencies and related activities.
NFTs are blazing China’s corporate scene. Today, an increasing number of Chinese firms are adopting them. That’s despite a sustained government onslaught on the crypto sector.
Global e-commerce platform Alibaba set off NFT adoption. In June, it sold 16,000 special-edition artworks on Alipay. This sale lasted only a few minutes.
In July, the firm held its second NFT sale. This time around, the event took place on its Taobao marketplace platform. The successes of these sales have prompted Alibaba to set up an NFT marketplace.
The marketplace runs on the Blockchain Digital and Asset Trade blockchain (BC). The Sichuan Blockchain Association Copyright Committee operates the BC with the provincial government’s backing.
Not to be outdone, Tencent, China’s giant internet company, launched its NFT platform. The Huanhe platform runs on Tencent’s Zhixin BC.
Other corporates joining the NFT craze
Another entrant into the space is JD.com. The company has announced that it is awarding its customers seven NFTs. These seven artworks mirror the e-commerce platform’s mascot, Joy.
JD.com will mint the tokens on its JD Zhizhen BC. The firm says the airdrop is its way of testing the waters in the NFT space.
Additionally, it’s working on developing its BC and NFT tech further. Besides e-commerce, it’s targeting copyright protection, art collections, and public welfare.
Joining the NFT race are McDonald’s China and shipping company DHL. The former had just launched its Big Mac Rubik NFT. The collectible celebrates the franchise’s expansion in the country.
On its part, DHL China will allow its users to mint an NFT of its mascot. The logistics firm is partnering with VeChain in the project.
These platforms use the Yuan for payments. Their avoidance of crypto payments is deliberate. China has banned crypto transactions in its continuing onslaught on the crypto industry.
So, the companies are keeping to regulations. Again, fans can only buy the NFTs but not sell or pass on their ownership. The creations have centered on pop songs, acclaimed artworks, and luxury goods.
NFTs have drawn mixed reactions
These developments have drawn mixed reactions in the country. The government is eager to dim the enthusiasm that NFTs have generated. It dismisses them as a hype. And it insists that residents can use them only as collectibles.
It’s a line that the state media continued to push. Some independent journalists like Colin Wu believe the government is out to stifle the sector. He holds that it is preparing to regulate the industry closely.
But while the government remains jittery about NFTs, others see opportunity in them. Elodie He is a crypto-art enthusiast and a Project Manager at the ApeNFT foundation.
He believes that the development is good news for Chinese creators. To him, the creators can now monetize their creations without breaking the law. He points to them trading in the Yuan as a big plus for collectibles.
Further, corporate China’s endorsement of NFTs is healthy for the whole market. It’ll draw more artists and creators to the space. Their creations will help in educating the masses about this technology.
Although the companies are pushing the NFT adoption, He believes they won’t dominate. That is because they lack what he calls an ‘artistic gene.’ And that good art marketplaces need curation and evaluation of artworks and artists.