The Chinese metaverse platform was named Xirang – meaning “country of hope” – and was switched on by Baidu last December. The service allows 100,000 users to be present as an avatar in a digital universe at any one time using special glasses. Robin Li, CEO and co-founder of Baidu, stressed that China’s “fertile ground for artificial intelligence” and developers could announce the “beginning of a golden decade.” The latter is supported by the fact that by the end of December last year, more than 1,300 companies had registered brands in connection with the metaverse.
The engine of the metahype has been kicked off by the renaming of Facebook to Meta, and companies have been announcing ever since that such a universe is at the center of their future focus. According to the head of Baidu, this means the dawn of artificial intelligence, while others say it will be as fast flourishing as we experienced with the online world of Second Life at the beginning of the millennium. Yu Jianing, a spokesman for a professional association of Chinese mobile companies called CMCA, explained that the metaverse will be a new battleground for competition in innovation. The expert leading the new Chinese metaverse industry committee added that even if the concept is in its infancy, it will be the next big bang for the internet.
Various Chinese IT companies (Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent) also want to build strong positions in the metaverse. By the end of last year, 1,300 related trademarks have been registered by companies and are coming up on a weekly basis with some related filing. This is also good for stock prices, so much so that there is growing stock market pressure to prove the authenticity of projects. As early as 2030, China could have a 26 percent global share of the Internet of Things market. Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei are constantly pushing the boundaries between technology and artificial intelligence, which also means that the boundaries between physical and virtual reality are becoming increasingly blurred.
The issue also gets a political dimension, as neither the United States nor China can allow its rivals in any area of the new world, be it the metaverse, the virtual reality, or the Internet of Things, to dominate. Americans may be concerned that they are clearly lagging behind in mobile Internet. The Asian country has a significant advantage over its competitors, with 1.3 million 5G base stations, which is estimated to be more than three-quarters of the globally equipped capacity. The infrastructure was built mainly by Huawei and ZTE. The city of Shenzhen has more 5G transmission towers than the whole of Germany. The state-of-the-art mobile standard is used by nearly 500 million locals, and more than 80 percent of smartphones sold are 5G-compatible. This is partly due to the fact that local manufacturers (Oneplus, OPPO, Xiaomi) offer a number of cheap models. The same development can be observed in the field of virtual reality.
Source: SG.hu Hírmagazin – IT/Tech by sg.hu.
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