China’s Shandong province aims for metaverse market worth $20.5 billion by 2025

China’s Shandong province has released draft guidelines to boost the development of its metaverse industry, as the world’s second-largerst economy continues its blockchain drive.

The government of the eastern Chinese province said in the document released Monday that it plans to grow metaverse-related initiatives in the province to reach a market size of 150 billion yuan (US$20.5 billion) by 2025.

Up until 2025, the Shandong provincial government said it aims to build several metaverse-related industrial parks and nurture at least 100 metaverse firms. Specifically, the local government said it would work to facilitate companies to apply for at least 3,000 international and domestic patents by 2025.

The draft guidelines showed that the local government defined metaverse as "a novel virtual and physical integrated digital space that combines various information technologies such as virtual reality, digital twinning, blockchain, internet of things, 5G and 6G, as well as artificial intelligence."

The Shandong provincial government is soliciting public feedback on the guidelines until Sept. 8.

China’s blockchain ambition

While China banned all cryptocurrency transactions in September 2021, the country remains bullish on homegrown blockchain technology and digital economies — with Chinese tech giants, such as Alibaba and Tencent, focusing on developing their own consortium blockchains.

In May, Beijing released a white paper aimed at promoting innovation and development of the Web 3.0 industry. The government is looking to position Beijing as a global innovation hub for the digital economy.

Last month, the Sichuan province also published a draft action plan that aims to expand its metaverse industry to hit a market size of $34.4 billion by 2025.