In wanting to reinforce its role in the Metaverse, China revealed late last week that it is establishing a new working committee that focuses on Metaverse development via public-private arrangements. This comes nearly six months after the launch of state-owned Metaverse Industry Committee.
While the state-owned unit includes state-managed industry players like China Telecom and China Unicorn, the new collaborative committee features 150 companies from both public and private sectors as founding members. This includes Huawei, Tencent, NetEase, ZTE, WeBank, Lenovo Research Shanghai, China Electronic Technology Standardisation Research Institute, Wanxiang Group, State Grid Blockchain, and many more China Big Tech players. It is also currently seeking out international support.
Notably, this is the second unit that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology approved, following the launch of the Metaverse Industry Committee last year. The former is under state-backed China Computer industry Association, while China Mobile and Communications Association manages the latter, the first unit designated to study the Metaverse from China’s perspective.
These new developments can be considered as being quick on the uptake for China as these come within the first six months after Meta made its big Metaverse push.
As the first unit is tasked to strengthen technological innovations and boost application integrations for the industry, organise professional training, and promote new thinking related to the Metaverse, this new unit will plan and carry out the following:
Draft industry standards (which will include policies and government regulations)
Help relevant authorities create industry road maps
Set up a 1 billion Chinese Yuan (US$148.7 million) fund to support startups and encourage the manufacturing, commerce, tourism, healthcare, and education sectors to embrace the Metaverse
“(We want to help) members join the new racetrack of the digital economy, and lead the healthy and orderly development of the metaverse industry,” the group shared in a press statement.
In terms of research and development for the Metaverse, this new working committee will be studying various concepts and next-gen innovations being developed for the Metaverse. It will also include new technologies and digital functions for virtual and augmented realities.
“The Metaverse is (a revolutionary take on today’s) Internet (as it now incorporates) next-gen infrastructure for new socio-economic patterns and societal norms that are being refined for the future. It goes far beyond just virtual reality,” said Guo Yike, Vice-President, Hong Kong Baptist University. He is the newly appointed President of this just established working committee.
The committee will include Huawei, Tencent, NetEase, ZTE, WeBank, and other major Chinese tech players
Officially operating in June 2022, it will work on various research and investments in the Metaverse
This also includes how the virtual realm will impact non-digital verticals like manufacturing, tourism, and service providers in retail