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

xinhua news agency

While the authorities in the country have banned mining and have almost illegalized trading in cryptocurrencies, there is some good news for blockchain users in China.

The country’s state news agency Xinhua has started issuing digital media photo collections it possesses as NFTs to the general population. NFTs are based on blockchain technology which Chinese authorities have previously criticized.
This decision by the state-run news agency also indicates a growing domestic interest in virtual assets even in the face of warnings from the government about the risks of fraud involved with this and the possibility of a bubble being created – both of which can be detrimental for customers.

A total of 110,001 copies of selected news photos were released on Christmas Eve by Xinhua to people for free, the Beijing-based influential news organization said in a statement.The cache of NFTs comprises 11 collections of 10,000 copies each and a copy of a special edition. These NFTs are available on Xinhua’s mobile app from 8 PM local time on Christmas eve.

The news agency said the collections “record many precious historical moments in 2021. It is also a digital memory written into the metaverse world.”
This year, NFTs, or digitized ownership certificates, have become increasingly popular worldwide, appearing in everything from signature tweets to paintings. However, China’s relationship with the technology that underpins them, as well as for cryptocurrencies, is complicated.

The digital photos released by Xinhua also include pictures of the Chinese Communist Party’s celebration of its 100th anniversary in July at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the recent milestone achieved by the country in administering over 2.7 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses. Tencent Holdings supports Xinhua’s debut into NFTs by assisting the blockchain technology that underpins the digital news collectibles.

The NFT initiative by the Chinese news agency comes after another news outlet of China, the South China Morning Post, launched NFT trading cards celebrating Hong Kong’s history in November, based on its 118-year-old media archives.

The Post’s first NFT trading card issue will commemorate several significant events in 1997, including the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese government on July 1, Deng Xiaoping’s death on February 19, and Princess Diana’s death in August.

Although the state news agency’s announcement would appear to show official backing for NFTs, People’s Daily’s party mouthpiece recently criticized them as a probable hoax. The metaverse, a shared world built on virtual reality technologies, has previously been described as “a great and illusionary concept” by the Securities Times, an official media outlet.

NFT technologies are already being explored or used by Chinese enterprises, including the unlisted Ant Group. Following the Xinhua news, most Chinese metaverse-related stocks surged on Wednesday.
Goertek, an augmented reality company, increased by 6%, while Perfect World, an online gaming company, increased by nearly 4%.

Tencent Holdings, a Chinese social media giant, stated last month that it expected Beijing to allow the metaverse to operate in China if it follows Chinese rules.

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