In a significant move to advance the development of the metaverse and strengthen its position in the digital economy, China inaugurated the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform on May 22. Led by the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), this state-backed initiative aims to consolidate the resources of academic institutions and enterprises across the country, fostering research and innovation in the rapidly evolving field of the metaverse.
The metaverse, a collective virtual space comprising virtual worlds, augmented reality, and virtual reality experiences, has gained immense popularity in recent years. It allows users to interact with each other and computer-generated environments in real time, offering a plethora of possibilities across industries.
Nanjing, capital city of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, has emerged as a key player in the nation’s metaverse development. By unveiling its metaverse strategy earlier this year, Nanjing set ambitious targets of generating annual revenues exceeding 135 billion yuan ($19.13 billion) by 2025. With the establishment of the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform, Nanjing aims to further solidify its position as a metaverse hub by leveraging the collective expertise and resources of academic institutions and metaverse-related companies.
The platform’s objective goes beyond Nanjing’s endeavors, aiming to bolster metaverse research and development nationwide. Founding members representing various academic institutions and metaverse-related companies from mainland China will collaborate to drive progress in the field. By bringing together these diverse stakeholders, the platform seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, promote innovation, and establish industry standards for the metaverse.
China’s vision for the metaverse extends beyond its economic potential. Wu Zhong-ze, the former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, emphasized the importance of expanding the metaverse’s applications in sectors such as education, commerce, healthcare, and entertainment. Acknowledging the transformative power of Web3 technologies, including the metaverse, China aims to harness their capabilities to drive the nation’s digital economy forward.
Shanghai, another prominent city in China, has also set its sights on becoming a metaverse powerhouse. With an ambitious goal of reaching annual revenues of 350 billion yuan ($49.6 billion) by 2025, Shanghai has already unveiled an initial collection of 20 metaverse use cases. Ranging from virtual healthcare diagnoses to digital recreations of historic architectural landmarks, these use cases demonstrate the vast potential of the metaverse across various sectors.
While China maintains strict regulations on cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), its proactive approach to the metaverse showcases its recognition of the transformative impact of Web3 technologies. By embracing the metaverse, China seeks to cultivate a thriving industry that harnesses the interconnected digital realm’s potential to revolutionize how people engage, learn, conduct business, and access entertainment.
As the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform begins its journey, it is poised to foster collaboration, drive innovation, and propel China’s metaverse ambitions forward. By consolidating the resources of academic institutions and enterprises, the platform sets the stage for accelerated research and development in the metaverse, ultimately shaping China’s future in the Web3 landscape.