Metaverse, China is running: 8 trillion dollar market

Metaverse, China is running: 8 trillion dollar market

The Chinese tech giants are ready to create applications for gaming, social media and augmented reality. But Beijing will likely impose censorship and controls and isolate its virtual world from the international one
15 Feb 2022
The metaverse is the new frontier of the web also for Chinese technology companies, above all because it is linked to the next evolution of social media. According to Morgan Stanley, the potential metaverse market in China is worth 52 trillion yuan or 8 trillion dollars, but it is highly probable that Beijing will impose strict regulation – if not outright censorship – of the new virtual world, to the point of making it a new Great Wall as the one that isolates the Chinese web from the world one.

Chinese big techs such as Tencent, NetEase, ByteDance (owner of TikTok) and Alibaba will lead the way for other national internet companies, with applications aimed primarily at the areas of virtual reality, gaming and social media. These applications include in-game purchases or digital avatars attending meetings or online meetings.
Index of topics
• Tencent and ByteDance raise the stakes on gaming
• Baidu gave birth to the XiRang virtual world
• How Beijing will move on the rules
Tencent and ByteDance raise the stakes on gaming
“The metaverse is the future of social media,” says Winston Ma, managing partner of CloudTree Ventures, on the Cnbc publications. “All of China’s tech giants must embrace this paradigm to find new ways to engage the younger generation of internet users. This is a business priority because the models based on smartphones and mobile internet are mature ”.
Tencent and ByteDance have positioned themselves to take advantage of opportunities in the often adjacent worlds of social and gaming. Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent (the world’s largest gaming company), said the metaverse is an opportunity to boost the growth of the gaming industry. Tencent also owns WeChat, a messaging service with many social media features.
ByteDance in turn is expanding into gaming after the acquisition of Pico, a company that produces headsets for virtual reality. ByteDance also owns TikTok (Douyin in China), the popular mini-video app, and is now ready to merge virtual reality, social media and gaming businesses.
Baidu gave birth to the XiRang virtual world
The approaches of the other big names are more cautious. Alibaba plans to launch augmented reality goggles for virtual meetings and encounters and is refining avatar technology.
NetEase, another Chinese gaming giant, has opened an office in the province of Hainan dedicated to the development of applications for the metaverse.
Baidu, an online search and AI specialist, has already launched a metaverse app called XiRang, a sort of virtual world that can host up to 100,000 people together.
How Beijing will move on the rules
The Chinese government has already tightened the supervision of internet giants and imposed new antitrust rules to avoid market concentrations and ensure transparency on the use of personal data. In all likelihood, he will also want to exercise control over the development of the metaverse.
“The great variety of possible applications implies that it will not be feasible for Beijing to develop a set of rules common to the entire sector, but each specific application will probably be subject to its own set of rules built on existing legislation”, says Hanyu Liu, Chinese market analyst at Daxue Consulting. “We also expect to see severe censorship, meaning there will likely be an isolated Chinese metaverse, separate from the international one.”