According to experts, China’s Metaverse will evolve considerably differently than other international marketplaces, and decentralized infrastructure may not be part of the game plan.
The Sino Metaverse appears to be on track to follow in the footsteps of the web. When the internet initially became popular in the 1990s, many people speculated that technology would hasten democracy in China.
The Communist nation’s aversion for decentralization, according to NewZoo’s 2021 trend report “Intro to the Metaverse,” will not necessarily prohibit it from participating in the network, but the experience may be extremely different, comparable to how the internet looks different behind the Great Firewall.
China filters politically sensitive content by strictly regulating its domestic internet and prohibiting websites from other countries. According to Mario Stefanidis, vice president of research at Roundhill Investments, China is likely to pursue a similar approach to Web3 trends.
“It will be much easier for China to oversee development of a local metaverse rather than allowing users to access the ‘global metaverse’ and spending significant resources censoring and blocking certain experiences.”
Nina Xiang, a journalist and the founder of Asian digital intelligence and data organization China Money Network, noted that the split will be especially visible between China’s metaverse and the United States.
In a press release announcing her new book, Parallel Metaverses: How the United States, China, and the Rest of the World Are Shaping Different Virtual Worlds, she stated that the materialization of the Metaverse will occur amid continuing US-China geopolitical and technological rivalry.
Chinese firms are undoubtedly intrigued by the Metaverse’s possibilities. More than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) was invested in Metaverse-related ventures in the three months ending November 30, 2021. According to Chinese crypto venture capital firm Sino Global, barely 2.1 billion yuan was invested in all of 2020.
Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, released its own metaverse app XiRang, which translates to “Land of Hope” in December. Despite the app’s stated concentration on digital infrastructure, Baidu vice president Ma Jie made it clear that bitcoin or NFTs will not be supported.