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Metaverse Development to Receive Support From Shanghai as China Targets Economic Recovery

There are plans in Shanghai to support the Metaverse and other industries within the Chinese technological ecosystem. This deliberate act is aimed at enhancing the revitalization of the Chinese economy which has been ravaged by various factors that include the Covid-19 pandemic, and other events that have also affected the economies of several nations of the world.

Getting out of the economic struggle is a deliberate national effort by China. However, the attributes of Shanghai puts it in pole position as a leading region that could play a vital role in the process. Shanghai is the financial and commercial hub of China, and also the country’s urban area with the highest population. These attributes qualify the vibrant city as a big influencer in matters of economy and industrialization both in China and other neighboring regions.

In addition to metaverse development, Shanghai is also planning to participate in the development of low-carbon projects and smart terminal industries. Talking about this new initiative, officials of the Shanghai government explained that the process is expected to build advantages for future development, and also to kickstart an acceleration toward the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery. According to the officials, the combination of all the sectors involved in this initiative is expected to be worth 1.5 trillion yuan by 2025.

Wu Jincheng, head of Shanghai’s Economy and Information Technology Committee, during a press conference elaborated on how the metaverse, smart terminals, and other related industries can constantly serve as catalysts to new business schemes and models. He said;

Industries such as the metaverse and smart terminals are expected to constantly spur new business schemes and models. These would give rise to ‘killer’ applications and popular products, releasing huge market value.

To set the ball rolling, the government of Shanghai is already working towards establishing an industry fund that includes a chunk of assets dedicated to metaverse development to the value of around 10 billion yuan. The plan is to inject these funds into the metropolis by supporting 10 leading companies and an additional 100 small-sized schemes. The expectation is that this combination will give rise to the launch of at least 100 “benchmarking products and services” within the industry by 2025.

Wu believes that the metaverse will play a key role in the restructuring of the mainstream economy. According to him, it will be a driver of the transformation of various mainstream industries that have important roles to play in the real economy. This observation could be informed by the fundamental attributes of the metaverse and the innovations springing up around the digital tech industry. Such attributes and innovations include the immersive virtual world of the metaverse that allows digital representations of people to interact with each other as they do in real life.

Shanghai’s participation in the metaverse is not particularly new. For example, in March 2022, the state-backed Shanghai Data Exchange launched a recruitment program that is based on the metaverse. Job seekers on the program can submit resumes using the platform to different departments. Even before then, the government of Shanghai, in December 2021 made clear its support for the industry. It encouraged firms within the region to pursue research in VR and AR technologies.

However, the government of Shanghai has also expressed that it is not carried away by the excitement that the metaverse offers. It has pledged to check “excessive financial speculation and malicious hype” around the metaverse. This is in compliance with the overall sentiment across the entire country over blockchain-related technologies.

Generally, the metaverse is considered by a lot of people as the next phase of the internet. It is powered by two fundamental technologies, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).


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