Ant Group promotes more NFT-like digital collectibles ahead of the traditional Chinese New Year. BSN launches an NFT infrastructure platform. Hangzhou to expand the use of digital yuan during the upcoming Asian Games. JD supports digital yuan payments through hardware wallets.
NFTs for the Chinese market
- Ant Group’s blockchain and tech arm AntChain launched an NFT-powered campaign ahead of the Chinese New Year (which starts on Feb. 1 this year according to the lunar calendar). The subsidiary worked with 24 museums in China to create digital versions of famous Chinese animal antiques, representing the twelve creatures of the Chinese zodiac. Users can buy these digital artifacts through the mini-program Topnod on Alipay, Ant’s popular payment app. Unlike NFT platforms elsewhere, most Chinese platforms don’t allow buyers to resell or trade their purchases due to government regulations aimed at minimizing speculation. (AntChain)
- China’s state-backed Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN) launched an NFT infrastructure platform in the country on Tuesday. The BSN-Distributed Digital Certificate (BSN-DDC) is an infrastructure platform for individuals and companies to build portals or manage NFTs that are compliant with Chinese regulations, which prohibit trading, mining, and speculation of crypto assets. The platform integrated and localized 10 popular public chains, including Ethereum and Corda. (Coindesk)
Digital yuan promotion
- In a five-year plan from a local financial administration in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the government signalled an expansion of pilot zones for China’s digital yuan. The report laid out plans to encourage qualified regions to apply to China’s central bank for the right to host pilot zones, and popularize the use of the national digital currency during the 2022 Asian Games, due to be held in Zhejiang’s capital city of Hangzhou in September. (Huanqiu, in Chinese)
- China’s e-commerce major JD now supports digital yuan hardware wallets, making it the first online retailer to support this payment method. Users with a digital yuan hard wallet can pay through JD’s app, as long as their phone supports Near Field Communication (NFC), a technology that allows data transfers between devices that are placed close to each other. JD’s fintech arm JD Technology is also a technical service provider for the digital RMB pilot projects. (TechWeb, in Chinese)