Project 985 was a project that was announced by the Chinese government at the 100th anniversary of Peking University on May 4, 1998, to promote the development and reputation of the Chinese higher education system by founding world-class universities in the 21st century. The name derives from the date of the announcement, May 1998, or 98/5 according to the Chinese date format. The project involves both national and local governments allocating large amounts of funding to certain universities in order to build new research centers, improve facilities, hold international conferences, attract world-renowned faculty and visiting scholars, and help Chinese faculty attend conferences abroad.
As of today, 39 universities are members of Project 985. They are regarded as the tier 1 universities in China out of 3,012 higher education institutions as of 2021.
Recently, a number of project 985 universities announced that they have withdrawn from the international ranking of universities and will not provide relevant materials and proof to the relevant authorities in the future. They include Renmin University of China, Nanjing University, Hubei University, and Lanzhou University.
Source: Sohu, May 9, 2022