For the first time, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) will be included at this year’s Taobao Maker Festival, an annual event honoring Chinese art and business sponsored by Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform Taobao.

Taobao, which is based on a C2C (consumer-to-consumer) retail model, allows small companies and individuals to create their online stores. The TMF provides increased market exposure to the most exceptional young innovators and small companies by highlighting their innovation and making their items more discoverable on Taobao Marketplace.

This year’s event will include a collaboration between decentralized application platform Near Protocol, blockchain gaming startup Web3Games and Huang Heshan, a young artist who graduated from Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, will showcase his NFT artwork at the Taobao Maker Festival.

The Taobao Maker Festival initially took place in 2016, with this year’s event taking place in Shanghai’s National Exhibition and Convention Center, which began on July 17 and will finish on July 25. Heshan said he was astonished by how simple it was to work with nonfungible tokens, saying

I originally believed that the ideas of blockchain and NFT would be complicated

During the event, Heshan’s virtual Bu Tu Garden will be offered for purchase, with the garden consisting of over 1,000 virtual structures, including 10 luxury single-family homes, 300 high-end apartments, and 1,000 umbrella parasols.

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Bu Tu Garden is part of Heshan’s first NFT collection, “Toorich City Series,” which is centered on a fictional real-estate tycoon, Mr. Toorich, who is devoted to building up-market housing for the economically poor.

While Heshan’s digital real estate NFTs are solely creative works, crypto-powered virtual real estate has grown significantly in the previous year, with a digital land plot within blockchain game Decentraland selling for more than $900,000 last month. Chinese payment giant Alipay, an Alibaba affiliate, launched two NFT-based digital art pieces in May. Owners of the art will see them on their Alipay app’s payment page whenever they make a purchase.

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