Sony, the renowned Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate, has set its sights on blockchain technology, following a growing trend among Japanese companies entering the Web3 space. Sony Network Communications, the company’s IT subsidiary, will lead the blockchain initiative in collaboration with Singapore-based Startale Labs. The two firms plan to establish a joint venture called Sony Network Communications Labs later this month.
Historically focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) market, Sony Network Communications is now poised to shift its focus to the blockchain sector. This strategic move is deemed significant in Japan, with Startale Labs’ Japanese CEO describing it as a “historic” development on social media platform X (Twitter). Sony emphasized that its subsidiary would leverage its expertise in IoT, AI, and solution services to contribute to the creation of a global infrastructure for the Web3 era.
Sony’s foray into blockchain dates back to 2018 when it initiated work on blockchain-powered rights management solutions for digital content. In 2020, the company began piloting blockchain-based platforms for Japanese pop (J-pop) groups affiliated with its Sony Music Group.
Sony joins a growing list of Japanese companies venturing into the realms of Web3, blockchain, the metaverse, and NFTs. Casio, a prominent watchmaker and electronics giant, recently announced plans to launch an NFT line for its G-Shock watches. Sportswear giants Mizuno and Asics have also revealed their intentions to enter the NFT space. Mitsubishi UFJ, a major Japanese bank, has outlined its ambitions to enter the stablecoin arena and introduce a “digital assets wallet.” Other Japanese companies exploring the Web3 landscape include automakers Nissan and Toyota, both of which have undertaken initiatives in the Web3 space, and Honda, which formed a “Web3 fan engagement” partnership with startup Animoca Brands in June.
These developments underscore the growing interest among Japanese corporations in Web3, blockchain technology, and related innovations, reflecting the evolving landscape of technology and business in the country.