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Here Are The Top Five Metaverse Companies in China

There is a keen interest in the Metaverse from Chinese tech investors. Developments around the innovation are moving at a fast pace with over a thousand Metaverse applications already submitted. Games, remote working environments, and other forms of virtual interactions have been the attraction towards this emerging technology and the Chinese tech space is making a significant representation in the industry.

Roughly 1,500 companies in mainland China are reported to have submitted applications for Metaverse-related trademarks. According to the respected auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers, China’s Metaverse industry is expected to return a 13% yearly growth to $1.5 trillion by 2030. The overall market size is estimated to be worth about $8 trillion in a couple of decades.

While the Chinese state continues to tread with caution, given the reluctant adoption by affiliated institutions, it is the private sector that is leading the charge into this novel area of virtual existence. Many of these companies are already neck-deep into Metaverse developments, with a number of them already having fully functional Metaverse platforms. Here are the top five Metaverse companies in China.

Tencent

Tencent is currently the biggest player in the Chinese Metaverse space. It stands as the leader among the rest as China aims towards global leadership in the emerging industry. Already existing infrastructure across different areas of internet media gives Tencent a headstart into what promises to be an exciting adventure. Already in Tencent’s portfolio are apps like WeChat, Kogou Music, and Tencent meetings. The company also holds sizable stakes across other Metaverse players like Epic Games (40%), Activision Blizzard (5%), Ubisoft (5%), Roblox (joint venture), and even SnapChat (12%).

Tencent has taken some major steps lately in pursuit of its Metaverse goals. The company has been hiring new developers for immersive games, has been investing in almost all the game makers in the field of vision, and has registered about 100 Metaverse trademarks. So far, Tencent has been the leader in the race of Metaverse development in China.

Huawei

Huawei is a leading telecommunications giant in the area of consumer electronics, smartphones, and 5G technology. In the past two years, the company has been a victim of the rift between the United States and China. As a result, its smartphone business has suffered. Recently, Huawei has been seeking new growth opportunities by paying attention to the manufacturing of electric vehicles software and the Metaverse.

Huawei’s Metaverse intention became well-known with the unveiling of the Starlight Tower app, an augmented reality (AR) game. The app is immersive as it works by transforming the players’ surroundings into immersive AR. Another step taken by Huawei is the launch of the demo version of Cyberverse, a 3D-mapping technology.

Huawei is a leader in 5G and owns thousands of patents in VR, chips, and operating systems. These are tools that are considered to be especially useful for the company’s Metaverse ambition.

Alibaba

As far back as 2016, Alibaba invested around $790 million in Magic Leap, an augmented reality unicorn. This signaled the company’s interest in the Metaverse. Since then, Alibaba’s investment in AR and VR-related startups have risen to over $1 billion.

In May 2021, Alibaba unveiled Ayayi, a digitally generated celebrity idol powered by AI. By the end of 2021, the company had established its extended reality (XR) lab, focusing on the development of products related to VR and AR.

Among other efforts, Alibaba is capitalizing on its cloud computing capability and has recently set up another cloud computing infrastructure, Cloud Mirror. It has also applied for several trademarks, including “Ali Metaverse” and “Taobao Metaverse”.

Baidu

Baidu is the leading search engine platform in China. In December 2021, the company became the first to launch a Chinese-made Metaverse product, Xirang (Land of Hope).

During the unveiling of Xirang, which was done virtually, participants were able to join the virtual conference by downloading the app using smartphones and PCs along with headsets from ByteDance-backed VR hardware maker Pico. The company’s CEO, Robin Li, while speaking during the unveiling described “a golden decade” of artificial intelligence and “man-to-computer symbiosis”.

Baidu has made significant investments in hardware through subsidiaries like iQiyi and its latest line of VR headsets, QIYU. The platform’s specialty in AI is an advantage in its Metaverse development agenda.

NetEase

NetEase is another gaming giant in China just like Tencent. The platform’s VR/AR, AI, Cloud Gaming, and Blockchain capabilities put it in a competitive position for Metaverse development.

In Q3, 2021, the AI arm of the company released Yaotai, an immersive virtual meeting platform. According to reports, there are other products planned to be released this year by NetEase, one of which is a user-generating content platform, to compete with Tencent and Roblox. User-generated games are considered a major gateway to the Metaverse.

Like Alibaba, NetEase’s Metaverse venture dates back to 2016, when it began to incorporate VR/AR elements into its games. Back then, one of its games was even offered on Google’s Daydream platform. Although the platform was discontinued in 2019 due to low adoption.

NetEase has made a major investment in Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go. The company’s robust tech stack also gives it an edge to compete at any level of Metaverse development.

 

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