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China’s State-Run News Agency Xinhua Issues Photos As NFTs

China’s State-Run News Agency Xinhua Issues Photos As NFTs
While authorities in China have outlawed mining and almost made it illegal to trade in cryptocurrency, there is good news for users of blockchain in China.
The state news agency Xinhua in China has begun issuing NFTs to all citizens of digital media photo collections that it owns. The NFTs are built on blockchain technology, which was previously criticized by Chinese authorities.
The state-run news agency said that this decision reflects a growing interest in virtual assets despite warnings from the government regarding fraud risks and the possibility of creating a bubble. Both of these can be harmful to customers.
Xinhua, a Beijing-based news agency, stated in a statement that 110,001 copies of selected news photographs were distributed free to all people on Christmas Eve.
11 collections each of 10,000 copies are included in the NFT cache, as well as one copy of a special edition. These NFTs can be accessed on Xinhua’s mobile app starting at 8 PM local on Christmas Eve.
According to the news agency, the collections "record many precious historic moments in 2021." It also serves as a digital record that is written into the metaverse.
NFTs (digitized ownership certificates) have been gaining popularity this year. They can be found in everything, from signature tweets to paintings.
But China's relationship to the technology underpinning them as well as cryptocurrency is complex.
Xinhua's digital photos also show the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party in July at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, as well as the latest milestone reached by the country in the administration of more than 2.7 billion Covid-19 vaccination doses.
Tencent Holdings supports Xinhua’s entry into NFTs through assistance for the blockchain technology underpinning the news digital collectibles.
After another Chinese news agency, the South China Morning Post launched NFT trading cards celebrating Hong Kong’s history in November. These cards were based on the South China Morning Post's 118-year-old media archive.
The Post's NFT trading card issue #1 will be a commemoration of a number of important events that occurred in 1997. These include the handover Hong Kong to China on July 1, Deng Jiaoping's February 19th death, and the August death of Princess Diana.
Although the announcement by the state news agency would seem to support NFTs, People's Daily, a party mouthpiece, recently dismissed them as a hoax.
The Securities Times, an official media outlet, described the metaverse as "a great, illusionary concept", and it is a shared universe built on virtual reality technology.
NFT technology is being used or explored by Chinese companies, including the Ant Group. Most Chinese metaverse stocks rose on Wednesday following the Xinhua News.
Goertek, an Augmented Reality company, saw a 6% increase, while Perfect World, an online gaming company, saw a nearly 4% increase.
Tencent Holdings, a Chinese social media giant, said last month that Beijing would allow the metaverse in China to operate if it follows Chinese laws.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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