Alibaba’s Taobao Maker Festival to Feature Real Estate NFTs

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Alibaba’s Taobao Maker Festival to Feature Real Estate NFTs
Photo: Alizila

The festival will feature iconic works of Chinese artist Heshan Huang as the NFTs will be sold in form of virtual real estate. The project execution will happen in partnership with NEAR Protocol and Web3Games.

For the first time since its launch in 2016, Alibaba’s Taobao Maker Festival will feature real-estate NFTs. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been much popular in the crypto space over the last year.

Some of the popular players in diverse industries like digital art, fashion, and others have delved into the NFT space. At the upcoming Alibaba festival, Chinese artist Heshan Huang shall be demonstrating hundreds of virtual buildings.

This includes 10 luxury single-family villas, 300 high-end units, and 1,000 ‘Umbrellas’ – parasols, as part of the virtual Bu Tu Garden Community. To bring these NFTs to the Taobao Maker Festival, the Chinese artist has partnered with NEAR Protocol along with blockchain gaming firm Web3Games.

The week-long festival has already kickstarted at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. Besides, the BuTu Garden Community represents a portion of Huang’s Full NFT collection. Also, his popular ‘Toorich City Series’ features a fictional character of the real-estate tycoon – Mr. Toorich. The tycoon has been popular for building opulent housing projects for the poor community.

These shall be the first batch of NFTs from Huang. Speaking to Blockcast, Huang said that the NFTs represent his fieldwork undertaken in cities and towns. The work represents a distinctive cyberpunk-flavored aesthetic.

Taobao: NFTs and Real Estate

Interestingly, NFTs are getting quite popular in the real estate industry these days. Also, Huang is not the first artist to sell real estate in the form of NFTs. Last month in June, TechCrunch co-founder Michael Arrington sold his Kiev-based apartment as an NFT.

The bidding started at around $20,000 and the final bid stood for 36 ETH worth $93,000 back then. Also, the market for virtual real-estate in NFT form is also catching up with the heat.

Alibaba’s decision to enter the NFT space comes at a time when China has been under heavy regulatory control. Of course, users won’t be able to purchase these NFTs against other cryptocurrencies like other marketplaces. Buyers have to place the order on Taobao and purchase the NFT against the local currency.

To claim the NFT digital art, potential buyers will have to click the link post-purchase and register with a NEAR wallet. Also, this is not Alibaba’s first stint with NFTs.

Its payment affiliate Alipay launched two NFT art pieces back in May 2021. Upon purchase, owners of the art see it on their Alipay app’s payment page. Alipay sold nearly 16,000 copies of the NFT art pieces within hours.

In another development, Alibaba-owned Hong Kong-based English media house – South China Morning Post (SCMP) – is planning to tokenize its media assets using NFTs.

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