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NFT collection to be launched by China's state-run news agency

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Xinhua, China's state-run news service, is releasing an NFT collection even though central bank officials' call for rigorous supervision

China's official Xinhua News Agency announced on Wednesday that it will launch its first series of collectables nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The action represents a vote of confidence in blockchain technology, which had previously been denied by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Xinhua intends to publish 10,000 copies of 11 images captured by journalists in 2021, according to an official notice.

Given recent events in the world's second-largest economy, the move towards NFTs is perplexing. China has recently targeted NFTs and metaverses, proposing that they be strictly supervised, after a nationwide crypto strike that saw Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) mining banned. Although wide anti-crypto sentiment, tech corporations Tencent and Huawei have pursued trademarks in the metaverse.

Some websites in Beijing, including ChainNews, went off in early December as part of wider anti-crypto repression.

Instead of focusing on developing communities on Twitter and Telegram, Chinese crypto media maintained a minimal profile on their websites.

Surprisingly, this is not the country's first effort into NFTs. The South China Morning Post launched a series of NFTs utilising a new token standard called "ARTIFACT," which is aimed to maintain historical assets on the blockchain, during the "DeFi Summer 2.0." It's worth noting, though, that the SCMP is based in Hong Kong. Thus the publication has greater independence and also Hong Kong's well-known administrative, legislative, and autonomous judicial power.

Hong Kong is not new to blockchain technology or minting NFTs. Pro-Hong Kong activists were able to preserve articles from the Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper on the blockchain in June of this year.ARWeave, a popular blockchain storage platform supported by Andreessen Horowitz, received over 4,000 Apple Daily articles.

Moreover, the PRC's NFT release brings the question: Does Xinhua's NFT issuance imply a move toward blockchain technology? NFT advocates in China are currently limited in their trading activity. NFTs can't be resold once they've been bought, and the renminbi is the sole currency available to NFT fans. Considering China's primarily anti-crypto position in 202, additional proof of the PRC's forays into the blockchain sector is necessary.

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