Bears with different styles, grotesque little mushrooms, cartoon characters holding a wine bottle and making toast gestures… There is a common producer behind these NFT projects that are popular in the overseas NFT market: Chinese brands.
When domestic trendy game groups gather on digital collection platforms such as Ali Jingtan, Baidu Superchain, and NetEase Planet to grab the first release and open blind boxes, they don’t know that big manufacturers have already quietly entered the overseas NFT market, and have changed from platforms to NFT creators and publisher.
So far, well-known Chinese companies such as Baidu, Bilibili, and Alibaba have issued multiple series of native NFTs through various methods such as incubating independent teams or cooperating with overseas institutions, and have launched them on open trading markets such as OpenSea.
From the layout point of view, Baidu and Bilibili’s attempts in the field of native NFT are not limited to nothing. They not only use AIGC’s ability to create, but also continue to empower their NFT by building main storylines, holding community activities, and joint marketing. Community culture, the effect is not only not bad, some are even better than the Web3 “fundamentalist” project.
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Big Chinese manufacturers with their own IP and traffic broke into the NFT track, secretly bringing competition to the native NFT ecology, and the NFT projects produced by “small workshops” are becoming more and more unworkable.
Go overseas to enter the NFT market
“Guys, I’m DUDU!”, “DuDuLab Project” greeted the NFT world in the project introduction of OpenSea, a well-known overseas NFT trading market.
10,000 naive little bears constitute the DuDu NFT collection. DuDu bears have different clothes and decorations. Some wear magic hats, blow bubble gum, and hold roses; some wear hip-hop hats, carry small guitars, and spin basketballs at their fingertips.
DuDu Bear was born on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain on November 15, 2022. Users can participate in the casting through the project’s official website. The initial casting price is 0.02ETH (about 175 yuan at the time). On the same day, the floor price of this series of NFTs on OpenSea once rose to 0.09ETH (about 804 yuan at the time), which was 4.5 times higher than the casting price. On January 11, its floor price was 0.035 ETH (about 312 yuan), which is still 75% higher than the issue price. In the NFT market that has been deserted for a long time, such performance is rare.
The project background of DuDu Xiong is an important reason why users are willing to pay. Although people are not familiar with its issuer “DuDuLab”, behind this group of NFTs is a well-known name in China-Baidu. According to public information, DuDuLab is an independent NFT project team incubated by Baidu. The core members are mainly native encryption professionals, with a team of about 30 people.
The DuDu bear NFT is created based on the Baidu brand mascot image “Baidu bear”. Therefore, Baidu is described as the first Chinese Internet company to cast an official image as an NFT on the public chain, and also the first Chinese Internet company to operate and sell NFT overseas.
Baidu’s pursuit of the NFT wave is obvious.
In China, Baidu has launched several digital collection platforms based on its alliance chain “Baidu Super Chain”, including “Baidu Super Chain Digital Collection” embedded in Baidu App, and “Chaoyun Digital Collection” built in Baidu Netdisk App. Digital Collections Platform”. However, due to the country’s strict prevention of the financialization of digital collections, the domestic digital collection market has rapidly cooled down after a wave of hype. The Baidu index of “digital collections” has dropped from a peak of 350,000 on May 10, 2022 to triple digits. On the other hand, in the context of Alibaba, NetEase, JD.com and other big companies all laying out digital collections, Baidu Coefficient Collection platform is not the top in China.
Going out to sea is a way to explore Web3, and DuDu NFT is not the first time Baidu has tried crabs. As early as September 2022, Simeji, an overseas input method under the Baidu Internationalization Division, and the Japanese game developer ITI jointly launched the CryptoSimeji NFT project. The initial casting method is “free casting for whitelist users”. The project is based on the IP mushroom of the Japanese national-level input method Simeji App launched by Baidu Japan, and created a pixel-style mushroom NFT avatar.
The 10,000 NFTs in the CryptoSimeji series were sold out within 24 hours. On OpenSea, the floor price of this series rose to 0.3ETH (valued at 2600 yuan), becoming a phenomenal project at that time. As of now, CryptoSimeji’s Discord community has more than 70,000 members and more than 110,000 Twitter fans. It is very popular in the mainstream social media positions of these two NFTs.
Baidu is not the only domestic Internet company that “quietly” issues NFT overseas.
In March 2022, the “South China Morning Post” under Alibaba established the NFT company Artifact Labs to convert the layout and news photos of news events of great historical significance into NFT. At present, the company has launched NFT collections such as “1997 Premium Series”. Covers coverage of major events in 1997.
One month later, “Bilibili” Bilibili officially authorized the overseas platform CryptoNatty to release the Cheers UP NFT series, which was released on Ethereum with an initial casting price of 0.12 ETH (about 2,400 yuan at the time). Then, the Bilibili Overseas App supports users to connect to the MetaMask encrypted wallet to view the NFT they own, and can set it as an avatar for use.
In June of the same year, Inke Interactive Entertainment Group changed its name to Inverse Universe. At the same time, it officially announced its metaverse project Hoot Labs, and issued INKEPASS NFT on Ethereum, with a total of 1,111 pieces. According to reports, INKEPASS is the core equity certificate of Inkemetaverse, and it is also the key to start the journey of Inkemetaverse.
In addition, in July 2022, according to the announcement of NFT development company WanderingLabs, Zhiwen Group, the parent company of Momo and Tantan, allowed WanderingLabs to issue the NFT collection “Wandering Planet” overseas by way of IP authorization.
When the way out for digital collections in the domestic market is unclear, major domestic manufacturers have entered the NFT track, seeking to establish more connections with the Web3 world in a more open and broad overseas market.
Stir up the NFT market structure
For Chinese Internet giants such as Baidu and Ali, the strategic significance of entering the NFT market is obviously greater than the purpose of revenue. Not long ago, Yin Yingli, General Manager of the Marketing Department of Baidu Mobile Ecosystem Business Group, pointed out that the wave of Web 3.0 has already surged, and if you stay still, you may be photographed on the beach.
The NFTs that originated on public chains such as Ethereum and Polygon are undoubtedly more “Web3” than domestic digital collections: issued on open public chains, users can freely query the addresses, smart contracts, and transactions of NFTs on the chain. Information, etc., can also be managed and changed hands after buying. In comparison, domestic digital collections are mostly issued on relatively closed alliance chains. After users purchase collections, they can generally only see the addresses on the chain corresponding to the collections, and some do not even have blockchain browsers for querying collection information. Provide, not to mention the ownership and trading rights of the collection.
Under the red line of supervision, the digital collection distribution platforms deployed by major domestic Internet companies have been deliberately weakening the financial attributes of digital collections, which also makes Internet companies that follow the trend look “not so Web3”. Nowadays, big manufacturers seem to have “opened up”—since there are many domestic restrictions, they should embrace Web3 freely by incubating independent teams and cooperating with overseas NFT development companies.
It is not just that big companies are exploring Web3 overseas. As far as DuDu NFT is concerned, the project adopts the AIGC creation method and uses AI to establish the IP image of DuDu bear. In order to maintain the long-term vitality of NFT, DuDuLab has constructed a novel for DuDu’s life experience to build the DUDU Island community. The novel integrates 80% of the world’s cultures from different races, countries, and classes. Throughout the plot of the novel, DuDuLab will Invite users to accompany DuDu to participate in singer meetings, adventures, street graffiti, etc., so as to cultivate a sense of community belonging. DuDuLab also plans to implement an NFT growth system to integrate the growth game into the NFT gameplay.
CryptoSimeji provides holders with a series of rights and interests, including obtaining NFT airdrops or whitelists of CryptoSimeji cooperative IP, obtaining VIP rights and interests of Simeji applications, participating in Simeji peripheral lucky draws, etc. In addition, CryptoSimeji has also designed a set of incentive processes for holders. In short, the longer the number and time of users holding the NFT, the more points they can get, and the points can be used to exchange for ETH in the prize pool. CryptoSimeji also designed the “type2earn (typing to make money)” gameplay. NFT holders can mortgage points in exchange for “type2earn” admission tickets, and earn points by using the Simeji input method.
The “B station system” Cheers UP NFT also pays attention to the long tail effect. After the release of NFT, it held community activities such as “66 Cheers Festival”, “Cheers Music”, emoticon package airdrops, coloring second creation contest, etc., so that NFT holders can continue to capture the sense of value acquisition. In terms of marketing, the Cheers UP community also collaborates with CryptoSimeji to set whitelist tasks and build a diverse community.
Chinese Internet companies that are good at revitalizing the traffic market directly input their operating capabilities into the community that is valued by the NFT world. This will undoubtedly intensify competition in the entire NFT project market, and may even change the rules of the game on the NFT track.
Compared with many NFTs issued anonymously by the “small workshop” team, the big manufacturers with a brand halo on their heads pay more attention to the delicacy of NFTs, and also have strong financial resources to supply the continuity of operations. At the same time, “produced by big factories” often has its own traffic effect, which can attract more attention in the early start-up stage, which is also an advantage that new entrepreneurial NFT projects do not have.
From the perspective of price performance, the current floor price of the free-forged CryptoSimeji series NFT is 0.058ETH, the current floor price of DuDu NFT with an initial casting price of 0.02ETH is 0.035ETH, an increase of 75%, and the current floor price of Cheers UP NFT with a casting price of 0.12 ETH is 0.6ETH (about 515 yuan), an increase of 400%. On the other hand, most of the new projects other than blue-chip NFT have a short life cycle, and the transaction heat sometimes cannot be maintained for 48 hours, and new projects have repeatedly broken or even returned to zero.
According to the laws of the business world, when the “regular army” joins the recklessly developed NFT ecology, it will continue to force NFT projects to develop in a higher-quality and more sustainable direction, and at the same time add vitality to NFT creation.
Of course, many native NFT projects have been exploring new development paths. Projects such as NBA Top Shop have begun to issue real-time dynamic NFTs. The parent company of Boring Ape BAYC has begun to create metaverse space for NFT apes. Currently, Baidu, B The NFT attempts of the stations are still in the picture stage. How to add more creativity to the form and gameplay of NFT, and change from the role of a follower to a leader, is the long-term foothold of the big manufacturers in the more competitive NFT market. key.