Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley of hardware, has announced the official launch of its first venture capital fund focusing on blockchain. The initial scale of the local backed fund is RMB 500 million, Bianews reports. The fund will be government-led signaling that the blockchain industry in China is entering what some local commentators have dubbed a “government-led mode.”

The announcement of Shenzhen’s new blockchain fund was made April 22 at the Chinese Universal Exposition & World’s Fair in Blockchain in Shenzhen, sponsored by the China Electronic Commerce Association (CECA) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The announcement comes about 2 weeks after the Hangzhou government invested in a $1.6 billion blockchain fund.

A large part of the fund will be financed by Shenzhen Angel Capital Guiding Fund which will contribute 40%. The fund will be managed by two investment funds under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) Donghai Capital and Hengxing Capital. The fund aims to invest in more than 100 blockchain seed projects.

China has seen several blockchain projects being pushed by the government. In December 2016,  blockchain became one of the strategic technologies included in the 13th Five-Year Plan. One of them is the Blockchain Registry Open Platform (BROP) developed by the Zhongchao Blockchain Research Institute which belongs to one of the People’s Bank of China’s subsidiaries.

Local officials in Hangzhou are also betting on a blockchain boom. On April 10, the city announced a Blockchain Industrial Park and an RMB 10 billion blockchain investment fund called the Xiong An Global Blockchain Innovation Fund. The fund Tulan and INBlockchain.

Shenzhen, however, has been eyeing blockchain for quite some time. In October last year, the city government issued measures to support the development of the financial industry including blockchain, digital currency, and financial data. They have also established an annual award fund for outstanding projects worth RMB 6 million.

Other cities hoping to stimulate growth in blockchain are Guangzhou, and Guizhou, and Guiyang.

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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