Nanjing university champions metaverse with new state-backed initiative

Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (Nanxin University) has unveiled a new state-backed metaverse initiative, stepping up the region’s contribution to the up-and-coming sector.

The initiative, which was announced via the university’s WeChat account on May 22, reportedly aims to “deepen the integration of industry, academia, and research in the field of the digital economy and metaverse.”

Nanxin University has been at the forefront of making metaverse research a formal academic field, establishing the country’s first Metaverse Engineering department in September 2022. Shanghai has also been playing a lead role having recently rolled out the country’s first use of the metaverse in taxation.

Whilst metaverse hype in the West has largely died out, it is viewed in China as a promising new technological paradigm that can be integrated across education, healthcare, governance, manufacturing and more to turbocharge the efficiency and analytical power of just about any data-driven process.

In an interview for Wired, tech market researcher Brady Wang called the metaverse a “government-led concept” in China, which is ultimately about “putting tech to work in supporting the economy”, as the author’s article explains.

Although Nanxin University’s initiative sets its sights on the grand vision of Digital China, it could also be a major stimulus for the local economy in Jiangsu.

The province is reportedly aiming to generate annual revenue of 135 billion RMB (19.3 billion USD) through the metaverse industry by 2025, potentially helping to rocket Suzhou and Nanjing up the rankings for commercial attractiveness. Suzhou and Nanjing are currently placed 6th and 8th among the new tier-1 cities behind Chengdu, Chongqing, and Hangzhou.


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