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China’s Tech Giant Tencent To Enter the NFT Market

While it might seem that the global NFT market has seen its peak this spring, the latest news coming from China shows that non-fungible tokens are yet to see their heyday. According to the latest report from Sina Finance, one of China’s largest tech companies is reportedly eyeing the new asset class and it has some pretty innovative ideas on how to monetize it.

Namely, Tencent Music, a subsidiary of China’s internet giant Tencent, will be entering the NFT business by becoming the first music platform in China to issue digital collectibles representing music. Genesis Block Hong Kong reported that the standalone business will be called “TME Digital Collectibles” and that it’s already ready for an internal beta test on QQ Music. QQ Music is one of the three freemium music streaming services owned by Tencent Music and is a joint venture between Tencent and Spotify.

Sources close to Tencent revealed that the music NFT will look very much like any other physical collectible. Blockchain technology will make the music NFT provably unique and authentic, giving it inherent value in the eyes of potential collectors. Aside from offering provable verification to collectors, NFTs also have a unique ability to provide a solution for the protection of intellectual property rights. According to Tencent Music, this is especially valuable in the era of digital music, when it’s becoming increasingly hard both for record labels and artists to protect their intellectual rights.

“In the future, this technology can be widely used in artists’ digital albums and limited-edition merchandise,” the company said.

Tencent is also the company behind WeChat, China’s most-used instant messaging app. With over 1.24 billion active users recorded in the first half of 2021, WeChat is also used for various other services aside from messaging, which include payments, online shopping, and gaming. When combined with the fact that Tencent is also the world’s largest gaming company, with stakes in multiple U.S. game developers, including Riot Games and Epic Games, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for NFTs.

Colin Wu, a Chinese journalist posting on the Wu Blockchain Twitter channel, said that Tencent’s foray into NFTs won’t stop just at music. The internet giant will most likely expand its NFT offering to include games and news content in the near future.

And while Tencent’s focus on NFTs certainly is big news, this is not the first time a Chinese tech giant has dabbled with the new asset class. Earlier this month, 8BTC reported that the Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post will release NFTs of its popular stories. Alibaba’s hugely popular Alipay service has also entered the NFT market with the release of its proprietary NFT sales platform. In June, the company launched a limited series of illustrations through the platform, which could only be bought with fiat currencies.

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