An agency under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), one of the country’s major technology industry regulators, has plans to create its own digital collectibles, as more local players start to explore the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The MIIT’s Industrial Culture Development Centre said in a statement last Friday that it would mint and sell a batch of digital collectibles this year to “spread China’s industrial culture”. It also wanted to build an “industrial metaverse service platform”. The projects are part of the agency’s efforts to implement a five-year plan on boosting the development of industrial culture. The proposed NFTs were meant as a way to use digital technology to “portray China’s industrial image” and “communicate externally” in the new era, the agency said. NFTs are usually dubbed “digital collectibles” in China, where authorities remain concerned that crypto projects may lead to scams. However, the scrutiny has not stopped an increasing number of institutions from testing the waters. In December, state-run Xinhua News Agency released several collections of its photos as free digital collectibles, including those of the Chinese Communist Party celebrating its 100th anniversary at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in July, and the government’s efforts to administer more than 2.7 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses nationwide. The MIIT said it is soliciting materials from various sources, including industrial museums, companies, industry associations and public entities on a national industrial legacy list. Submissions should “reflect major events and achievements, important people and core technology in the course of China’s industrial development”. The agency added that the materials should be rare and irreplaceable, in addition to having commemorative value and clear ownership rights. It did not say which blockchain its NFTs would be based on, but the Blockchain Services Network , a state-backed blockchain infrastructure project, has been working on offering NFT-issuing solutions to businesses. A beginner’s guide to minting NFTs on the OpenSea platform NFTs, which are unique strings of blockchain-registered data that represent a digital file’s ownership, exploded into the mainstream globally last year and have since attracted the attention of Chinese enthusiasts. As authorities keep a wary eye on cryptocurrencies and speculative market activities, however, companies have been treading cautiously to avoid potential regulatory risks. Digital collectibles in China are sold in yuan. On marketplaces run by tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding, parent of the South China Morning Post , and Tencent Holdings, users are forbidden from reselling their NFTs for profit. Both firms have also preemptively banned user accounts that violated platform rules. ScienceNet , a publication operated by the state-run research institute Chinese Academy of Sciences, estimated in January that there were at least 38 NFT marketplaces in the country.