Baidu Launches NFTs in Japan

Anyone who follows the NFTs space within Asia will know that the Chinese market is a particularly complex one. As a result of the government’s harsh attitude towards blockchain-based assets like cryptocurrency and NFTs, many businesses struggle with dealing with digital assets. 

For example, WeChat has previously closed accounts on its platform connected to NFTs and Tencent recently folded up its NFT app.  But Chinese companies are not giving up and Baidu, a top Chinese search engine, has taken its NFT endeavours to other parts of Asia. As recently reported, Baidu Japan has inked a new deal that will see both NFTs and a dedicated community launched. 

NFTs in Japan

As per the official announcement, Baidu Japan will be launching Simeji, a keyboard application, SimejiWEB3, an NFT project, and CryptoSimeji, a digital community. These projects will be developed in a new partnership with  ITI Group, which has extensive experience in the web3 space.

This incoming NFT project, the press release says, will target Gen Z consumers especially and in order to do this, six influencers have been chosen as ambassadors. Among these influencers are recog, a game commentator, Monayo, a game blogger, and Kazuaki Mizuchi, a web3 accountant. 

Gen Z was tagged as a very ‘trendy’ generation and one that is especially receptive to web3 and blockchain-based products, As such, this project is mainly geared towards them. With this in mind, it is quite fitting that CryptoSimeji is being pushed via influencers, which is a popular marketing technique among Gen Z.

Baidu Launches NFTs in Japan

 As for CryptoSimeji, it will feature NFT-related news, games, and information that will be accessible to even NFT newbies.

Overall, Baidu seems to be particularly ambitious with this project, from the recruitment of influencers to the posting of educational content on its social media platforms. In the press release, the company clarified that it has high hopes for this project and the space that it can occupy within the Japanese market. 

“[..] will jointly operate the project “SimejiWEB3” with ITI, which has a proven track record in Web 3.0 marketing. We are confident that we can grow into the largest Web 3.0 community in Japan. We will work on the NFT business so that more people can enjoy “Simeji”,” the release says. 

More announcements will be made as more projects are launched and more SimejiWEB3-centered content is released. 

The State of NFTs in Asia 

With this new announcement, one thing is being made clear; while Chinese laws mean that its NFT scene is more conservative than others, NFT activities in other parts of Asia and the world will carry on as usual. 

It is worth noting that this sort of NFT venture, with influencers and a keyboard app, might not be able to launch in Baidu’s home country due to the discouragement of ‘speculative’ NFTs. If this continues, we will likely see a stark contrast between NFT treatment and use in China compared to other parts of Asia, just as we have seen with cryptocurrency.


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