Metaverse with Chinese characteristics. In the world’s second-largest economy, the virtual world that everyone is talking about will most likely look like this. In the latest buzzword in internet technology, China’s tech giants are putting money into the metaverse. Although there is no official definition for the term, it is commonly understood to refer to online worlds where people can play and even live.
Chinese technology companies will likely face heavy censorship and regulation as Beijing keeps a close eye on their practises. U.S. companies like Facebook parent Meta and Microsoft have positioned their Activision acquisition as a play on the metaverse theme.
What do you mean by apps?
There could be a total of 52 trillion yuan (around $8 billion) in the metaverse market in China, according to an analysis by Morgan Stanley last month. Tencent, Netease, ByteDance (the company that owns TikTok) and Alibaba could be the front-runners in China’s internet sector. The social network of the future is Metaverse. For the sake of attracting a new generation of internet users, all of China’s tech giants must embrace it.
I’m a managing partner at Cloudtree Ventures. If you want to know how the metaverse works, you need to know what kinds of applications can be part of it. It’s possible that virtual reality and gaming, as well as social media, will serve as early examples. Things like buying virtual items in games or creating digital avatars to participate in meetings are examples of this practise.
“The Metaverse is the social network of the future. A time when their business models for smartphones and mobile internet are maturing, all of China’s tech giants must embrace it in order to find new ways to engage the youngest generation of internet users,” Winston Ma, managing partner at CloudTree Ventures, told CNBC.
Metaverse of Chinese Tech Giants
Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent, said in an earnings call in November that the metaverse will be an opportunity for existing industries like gaming to grow. Tencent is the biggest gaming company in the world, and it has a wide range of PC and mobile games to its name.
Also owned by Tencent is WeChat, a popular messaging service with more than a billion active users. Ms. Ma asserted that her company possesses “a lot of the technology and know-how building blocks” necessary to investigate and develop the metaverse further.
It’s been a year of rapid expansion for ByteDance in the gaming industry. Pico, a virtual reality headset maker, was acquired by the company in August. The short-form video app TikTok, as well as the Chinese equivalent Douyin, are all owned by ByteDance. Beijing-based company has laid the groundwork in VR, social media and gaming.
Real estate in the metaverse fetches astronomical prices from wealthy buyers.
For virtual meetings, Alibaba has announced that it will release augmented reality glasses in 2018. In augmented reality, virtual images are superimposed on real-world environments. This could be a reference to the metaverse once more. For the 2008 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Amazon created “virtual influencer” Dong Dong. Alibaba’s Taobao shopping app has a digital avatar that promotes Olympic-themed merchandise and provides information about the Games.
One of China’s gaming giants, NetEase has established a base in the southern province of Hainan to develop metaverse applications, according to local media reports last year.
XiRang, a metaverse app developed by search engine Baidu, can hold up to 100,000 people at a time. As a result of this, Baidu executives downplayed expectations of the app at its launch and stated that many aspects were still not up to par. According to Baidu vice president Ma Jie, a full launch could take up to six years more.
In any case, there are signs that China’s biggest technology companies are beginning to experiment and lay the foundation for upcoming uses. “Similar to the pitch we’ve seen from Meta, the metaverse concept may at first involve VR/AR-supported games and social interactive environments,” Charles Mok, the founder of Tech For Good Asia, said. China’s big tech companies will, of course, be the first to jump on the bandwagon with features like payment and WeChat-like integrated online services that can be incorporated into the metaverse.
China’s Metaverse Is Regulated
After a year of intense regulatory scrutiny on China’s tech sector, Chinese tech companies are launching a metaverse push.
Proposals to curb internet platform monopolies and a landmark personal data protection law have been introduced in the United States, respectively. Furthermore, the amount of time that children under the age of 18 are allowed to spend playing online games has been reduced in Beijing.
Existing laws, according to the experts, will likely be used to regulate metaverse applications as well. According to Hanyu Liu, a China market analyst at Daxue Consulting, “the sheer diversity of metaverse applications” means Beijing will be unable to develop a “one-fits-all” set of policies.
Every application would have its own unique set of regulations, each building on the previous legislation. [China] knows exactly when and where it needs to keep its distance; close enough to keep a close eye on the industry without causing irreparable harm.
Hanyu Liu’s name
Internet content censorship continues to be an issue in China. Because of China’s history of censorship, Liu believes that the international metaverse will likely be divided into an isolated Chinese one. Analysts believe that the metaverse could be better controlled by enacting more specific regulations.
A set of rules governing the use of recommendation algorithms by internet companies was passed by authorities in January. Next came a set of proposed rules for “deep synthesis” technology. I’m talking about software that can create or edit sounds, images and virtual environments. Rules one and two overlap.
According to Ma, “this overlap with the recent algorithm rule as specifically required by the new rule would have a significant impact on Metaverse companies operating in China.” CNBC Pro has a wealth of information on China. A rise in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield prompts HSBC to select Chinese stocks. “It’s Time for a China Pivot,” says Credit Suisse, which recommends buying six global stocks. JPMorgan’s list of the best Asian tech stocks to buy includes Apple suppliers, the metaverse, and more.
Even cities and regions in China are looking into the metaverse’s potential. Last year, Shanghai’s five-year development plan for the information technology industry mentioned the metaverse. This is an area in which China demonstrates exceptional cunning. By staying close enough to keep an eye on things, but not so close that it would cause irreparable damage to the industry,” Liu said.
For some applications in the metaverse, the use of cryptocurrency is a viable option. You could use a digital currency, for example, to pay for a virtual land or item. Despite China’s efforts to eliminate trading and “mining” of cryptocurrencies, this could be a problem.
A central bank-issued digital currency called the “Digital Yuan” or “e-CNY” has also been promoted by the government. Chinese digital currency may instead be used in metaverse payment applications, Daxue Consulting’s Liu predicted.