Chinese internet behemoths are racing to the metaverse. Baidu, for one, is fairly confident that its metaverse app will take at least six years to fully launch. However, as the tech giant eyes to explore more, it will not add support for digital assets on the app.
Baidu’s Metaverse World
While speaking at the “Create 2021,” Baidu’s annual developers’ event, Ma Jie, the company’s Vice President, shed some light on the timeline of its immersive digital world ‘XiRang.’ Although the application has been under development for over a year, it could take an additional six years to launch. According to Ma, XiRang is capable of hosting 100,000 virtual attendees.
With XiRang, Baidu intends to develop an open-source platform for metaverse developers and build an infrastructure for a virtual world. The app is now accessible to developers, primarily in China.
Due to the stringent regulatory environment, the exec clarified that the app will not support digital currencies or the trading of assets associated with virtual properties.
The main objective behind Baidu’s approach of staying away from crypto assets is to comply with a barrage of new regulations. This is because the Chinese government is known for its crackdown on monopolistic practices by internet tech giants. Beijing’s year-long suppression of the country’s technology players has also prompted many to exercise caution.
Chinese Tech Firms Embrace the Metaverse
China had imposed a fresh ban on cryptocurrencies this September, but there are no laws regarding metaverse yet. However, the state media has posted numerous articles on the subject that mostly consists of related scam risks.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) also issued a warning against the dangers of the metaverse and NFTs recently. That being said, China’s stance on the sector is still ambiguous, as CryptoPotato recently reported about the launch of the country’s first metaverse industry group. Called – the Metaverse Industry Committee, it’s an organization that will operate under the state-supervised China Mobile Communications Association (CMCA).
The tech companies, on the other hand, are filing for metaverse trademarks at a rapid pace. A recent report by South China Morning Post revealed that over 1,360 homegrown firms had submitted 8,534 trademark applications related to the metaverse by December 19. Some prominent firms are- Baidu, NetEase Global, Alibaba, TENCENT, and Bytedance.
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