Shanghai’s government has revealed a blueprint to assist the city in boosting certain key sectors using blockchain technology, the metaverse, and its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan.
Titled “Guidelines on the High-Quality Development of Manufacturing Internet Service Platforms,” the document targets the development of key sectors, protection of the environment, and improving the management of operations. According to the blueprint, China’s largest city is keen on building a suite of blockchain-based platforms for trading commodities.
Experts say the biggest beneficiaries of the plan are legacy industries like the automotive sector, noting that the industry could record improved processes for efficiency. Blockchain could be used to authenticate vehicle parts, track cars and provide a range of financial applications.
The plan targets creating a carbon accounting system to improve the current carbon trading system. Furthermore, Shanghai’s blueprint prescribes the rolling out of a monitoring and statistics system hinged on the blockchain.
A full embrace of the digital yuan can expand the functionality of e-commerce service platforms for industrial products while opening new lines of credit to residents. In terms of the metaverse, the city will be extending the application of its metaverse investment from culture and tourism to legacy industries.
Already, several automobile manufacturers have begun dabbling in the metaverse to test out new products before a full-scale launch. BMW has incorporated the metaverse into its operations, using real-time simulated worlds in its car designs, while other automobile manufacturers use it for data-driven insights.
Shanghai’s blueprint also involves a plan to deepen the blockchain and metaverse talent pool in the city for firms building with both technologies. City administrators say they will roll out blockchain courses for universities and colleges in Shanghai to “carry out customized training for productive Internet service platform application talents.”
At the core of the strategy lies a renewed push for standardization, with Shanghai’s government noting plans to “encourage and guide” enterprises to create their uniform rules.
Support productive Internet service platforms in various fields to participate in national and municipal standardization pilot work and improve the level of service standardization.
Building on previous efforts
Shanghai is no stranger to building on the metaverse, central bank digital currencies, and blockchain, with the city launching a blockchain industrial complex in 2020. In June, the Shanghai Clearing House launched a clearing and settlement service for commodities using the digital yuan to trigger increased adoption.
The commercial nerve center is currently eyeing a $7 billion gain from metaverse investments in its tourism sector, seeking to attract global players to set up shop in the city. A five-year plan released in 2022 reiterates Shanghai’s strategy to leverage innovative technologies for economic growth.
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