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How Metaverse in China will be Different From the Rest of the World

The Metaverse is experiencing a rapid increase in awareness and development. While parts of the western world appear to be at the forefront in pursuing the Metaverse development, China, like in many other areas of technological advancements, is joining the trend.

Metaverse development in China is growing quickly, with several respected tech giants like Tencent and Alibaba leading the charge. Altogether, over 1,500 interested entities have registered more than 10,000 trademarks, registering their interest in immersive technology. Their interests cut across social communities, working environments, and virtual gaming.

According to Morgan Stanley, the Chinese Metamask market is full of potential and could reach a staggering $8 trillion in value within the next few years. At a growth rate of 13% per year, the industry is expected to reach a market size of $1.5 trillion by 2030.

Huawei, Baidu, NetEase, and a host of other companies in mainland China are the frontrunners in this rapidly developing industry. They are the ones putting China in the limelight in these early stages, side by side with the likes of Meta at the global level. Although the timing of this entry by the Chinese companies is viewed as lagging those from countries like the US and South Korea, industry experts view it as an advantage for China in terms of achieving a tailor-made framework that works for its region.

Finding an appropriate balance between regulation and innovation is a major concern with emerging technologies. With this in mind, experts believe that the relatively late entry is turning into a positive development for China. Considering the recent debacle around cryptocurrencies, this timing will provide the Chinese government with an opportunity to create an appropriate framework without the kind of chaotic disruption that has been experienced with cryptocurrencies.

One area where China’s Metaverse industry will differ from its counterparts across the globe is the inclusion of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are banned in China, and the enforcement of this ban has been like never before since the middle of 2021. From an early stage, some level of clarity has been provided already, and participants seem to have keyed into it. From all the major entrants so far, even down to the nomenclature of digital assets used in the Metaverse, cryptocurrencies have been avoided. Rather, assets within the Chinese Metaverse industry are referred to as digital collectibles.

Beyond just nomenclature, the assets deployed in the Chinese Metaverse industry also follow the prevailing idea of a centralized system where regulatory supervision can be easily achieved. This is in line with the country’s goal of maintaining a sanitized financial environment that is devoid of the irregularities rampant with cryptocurrencies in the past. For instance, the government has warned the public on several occasions to beware of scams and fraudulent activities that may show up as Metaverse solutions.

In Shanghai, there are reports on how the government has started searching for signs of the virtual space being used for scams. According to Andy Mok, a senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, certain concepts are still vague in the Metaverse, despite its potential of becoming a big market in the future. However, the introduction of the Data Security Law by China puts the country on the right track towards developing an appropriate regulatory framework for the Metaverse.

Therefore, while other parts of the world may pursue high levels of unrestricted application of the Metaverse, China is concerned about its peculiarities and the financial security of its citizens. For the region, industry supervision is key, and this eliminates the possibility of implementing cryptocurrencies in the Metaverse in China. That way, the region separates itself from what is obtained from other parts of the world.

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