Baidu, China’s third-largest tech giant, recently announced the launch of its native NFT marketplace. As part of the launch, the company is also airdropping a massive NFT collection featuring nostalgic Chinese cartoon characters.
What is there to Know About Baidu’s Airdrop?
According to Baidu, the marketplace will launch by the end of March 2022, as the company is working on final preparations before its digital collectibles platform is ready for deployment. Meanwhile, the upcoming collection will feature 20,000 unique non-fungible tokens, each tied to a piece of art featuring popular cartoon characters from the early 2010s.
Some of the NFTs are inspired by Ali, as well as Talking Tom Cat, both of which have been quite popular throughout the past decade.
While Baidu’s NFT marketplace will launch in the coming weeks, the airdrop of its 20,000 NFTs starts today, March 10th. There has already been a massive demand for the tokens and cartoon characters that they represent, particularly as they can be used as avatars.
In total, the Talking Tom Cat series will feature 8,888 NFTs that will be available from March 10th until March 12th. After that, NFTs based on the popular fox cartoon Ali will release (as 3,160 avatars) on March 16th, which is also when Ali will be celebrating its 16th birthday.
The Popularity of NFTs in China
So far, we have seen a strong push by the Chinese government to mute the hype around NFTs and crypto. However, such efforts have not been successful, as digital collectibles remain in high demand, as many have opted to turn to secondary markets in order to obtain NFTs. Upon seeing this demand — which was just as strong last year, when the NFT sector first exploded — tech giants such as Tencent and Alibaba have been quick to respond.
They launched their own NFT marketplaces, establishing themselves as early movers and attracting a large number of collectors and traders interested in the prospects of collecting digital art for fun and/or profit.
It is worth noting that both Alibaba and Tencent have introduced several internal rules to curb speculation, which has resulted in limited trades between users, and a turn away from their original platforms as users head to secondary markets for NFT trading.
China’s state-owned media has reacted, releasing warnings against NFT speculation, although such warnings have been known to have little effect when the market is being driven by hype.