China has had a rocky relationship with Web3. It has, multiple times, banned cryptocurrency and the trading of digital assets, before finally succumbing to the worldwide trend and allowing the collection of these assets in the past couple of years. Now, it is taking another step forward: approving NFT and metaverse trademarks.
The news came from JD Supra, an online repository of legal information. In an article yesterday, it noted that China has approved a “slew” of NFT and virtual world-related trademarks, including downloadable digital files, which can be authenticated by NFTs, displaying virtual goods for retail purposes, the use of virtual goods for entertainment purposes, and providing animated and non-animated characters for use in digital environments.
In addition, the Chinese Trademarks Office is permitting companies ample freedom to customize the descriptions of their trademarks, which heretofore had been a rare occurrence. This is good for American companies who wish to provide a longer description than typical or match their description with the one provided to the United States Patent and Trademarks Office.
It is important to note that the approval of these trademarks seems to be a preliminary measure taken before the adoption of a standardized set of rules for Web3 trademarks. But still, it is an optimistic sign that Web3 is coming to the world’s second largest economy, and that more people interested in this new iteration of the internet will join.
While China had previously not approved Web3 trademarks, that hadn’t stopped companies from filing applications. According to reports from 2022, companies had filed over 16,000 metaverse-related trademark applications at that time, with the number likely growing since then.
Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, three technology companies known as “BAT,” had led the charge. Time will tell if the Chinese Trademarks Office approves more Web3 trademark applications, but this is certainly an encouraging sign.
China Makes Waves in Bear Market
Although China has had a turbulent relationship with Web3, that hasn’t stopped the country from making news in the space during the bear market. Here are three stories involving China, the metaverse, blockchains, and NFTs.
First, about a month ago, China revealed that it was planning to bring its social credit system to the metaverse. Because its social credit system is designed to assess a citizen’s “trustworthiness,” this revelation wasn’t exactly good news. The metaverse is meant to be a free place, and China is hoping to turn it slightly into the opposite.
Next, eight months ago, China’s “Instagram” integrated non-fungible tokens through the Conflux blockchain. Called “Little Red Book,” the social media platform will allow users to showcase NFTs on Conflux to a network of over 200 million active monthly users. The integration includes displaying non-fungible tokens on users’ profile pages.
Lastly, nine months ago, China was set to launch its nationalized NFT market on New Year’s Day. Called “China Digital Asset Trading Platform,” the market permits users to trade NFTs, including digital copyrights and property rights. Three organizations were set to run the platform, with a state-created blockchain supporting the market.
As these stories show, China is taking a personalized approach to NFTs, often combining the technology with its political policies. While that may go against Web3 principles, some see the moves as a bullish sign that one of the world’s largest economies is adopting Web3 tech. Rarity Sniper will pay attention to today’s story and update this article if needed.