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Chinese tech firms speed up testing on Non-Fungible Tokens

Zhu Shenshen
Leading companies see NFTs as empowering firms, turning a buzz word into reality.
Zhu Shenshen

Chinese tech giants such as Tencent and ByteDance have released platforms and products of blockchain-based Non-Fungible Tokens, empowering business and turning a buzz word into real opportunities.

NFTs create a unit of data on a blockchain that certifies a digital asset as unique.

In October, TikTok launched its first creator-led NFT collection and called the new TikTok Top Moments a "new creator empowerment tool."

And Alibaba has released over a dozen artworks based on its own NFT technology, including a popular one with themes of the famous Duanhuang Buddhist Grottoes. Tencent has launched NFT-based products with games, music and videos.

NFTs offer unique opportunities for Chinese tech firms, such as Alibaba in e-commerce and livestream, Tencent in gaming and digital entertainment and ByteDance (TikTok's parent) in content creation, said Yu Jianing, chairman on duty of the Blockchain Committee of China Communications Industry Association.

The committee is authorized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the top regulator.

Each NFT is unique. It can realize clear ownership, transparency and transfer digital assets.

It's "a bridge connecting real assets and digital assets" to boost innovation and development of the real economy, said Yu, who is also the president of Huobi Education.

NFTs fit the trend of the "Metaverse" – the future integration of the Internet, gaming, virtual reality, digital artwork and others to establish "a universe," analysts say.

Intellectual property owners, like artists, film studios and game publishers have had early NFT successes and show strong interest in future developments.

They allow game firms to transfer the digital ownership of game assets to players efficiently and easily, according to Bain & Company.

In March, an NFT artwork – "The First 5,000 Days," created by American digital artist Beeple – was sold for cryptocurrencies valued at US$69 million, a record in the circle and boosting the popularity of the new technology in China and globally.

But Chinese tech giants are still testing the water for NFT applications.

They don't allow or encourage hype and cryptocurrencies trade (normally Ethereum in NFT trading in overseas markets).

China is also cracking down on personal cryptocurrency mining and trading.

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