Chinaverse: Chinese metaverse aims to use high-tech to suppress subversion |  Science and Technology

Chinaverse: Chinese metaverse aims to use high-tech to suppress subversion | Science and Technology

The Chinese government has already jumped on the metaverse bandwagon, that immersive digital realm developed by companies like Meta. But the country’s leaders do not intend to compete with the United States for primacy in this new race – they want to build a domestic handicap tailored to the CCP’s goals. It’s a vision that enables the private sector to develop key technology for the Asian giant, but also maintains what the government euphemistically calls “social peace.”

The wheels of the state machines are already spinning. In 2021, more than 10,000 Metaverse-related trademarks were registered in China, compared to less than 1,000 in 2020 and 2019. So far in 2022, 16,000 trademark applications have been filed. China’s tech giants – Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu – are investing heavily in the metaverse, although at much lower levels than Meta and Microsoft. ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, video game platform BiliBili and developer of augmented reality (AR) glasses Nreal, are some other Chinese companies that are taking steps into the metaverse. Morgan Stanley estimates the size of the Chinese metaverse market at $8 trillion, and JP Morgan predicts it could triple the game market in China from $44 billion to more than $131 billion.

The China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a leading Chinese think tank, officially launched the Chinaverse initiative in October 2021. A few days after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his blanket bet on the metaverse, CICIR issued “Metaverse and National Security,” An analysis of the national security challenges posed by this new environment. In what is considered the first official statement of the Chinese Communist Party on the subject, the CICIR report says, “It [the metaverse] It will have a major social, political and economic impact on countries… and on political and cultural security… Significant changes can occur in the social structure. Conclusion: China needs to be part of the metaverse, but it wants to be well controlled.

A visitor passes through an exhibit at a digital trade fair in Hong Kong. Anadolu Agency (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

That same month, China established the Metaverse Industry Committee (MIC), a state-backed group to coordinate reverse development with scientists and nearly 150 technology companies. In May, MIC General Secretary Luo Jun said: “We will embrace the fourth generation of the Internet, which will be the era of the metaverse.” Wu Zhongzi, a former deputy minister of science and technology, wrote that this means “serving our country by promoting the development of the new digital world and the digital economy.”

Others were more critical. Chinese economist and internet celebrity Ren Ziping has warned that the metaverse could cause marriage and birth rates to drop if people spend all their time communicating with each other in the virtual world. Owned by CCP People’s Daily newspaper She published several articles last year saying that the public “should be careful with the current metaverse craze,” and cautioned that people buying virtual assets “could get burned.” daily economicAnother state-controlled Chinese media outlet, it has also stressed the need to control speculation over assets in the metaverse.

Alignment between government and business

But death has been cast. This is explained in World Metaverse Conference 2022, a major conference in Beijing that brought together leading industry players and senior government officials in August. The government has launched a fund to support startups focused on the metaverse. Local government action plans are also drawn up to start research centers and factories. “Like the aviation industry, it is a decentralized approach that is centrally coordinated and implemented locally,” said Raquel Jorge, a technology policy analyst at the Royal Elcano Institute for International and Strategic Studies (Madrid, Spain). In August, local authorities in Beijing presented a two-year plan (2022-2024) modeled on the Shanghai plan, which was funded with $51 billion. Wuhan and Hefei are other major cities already in the game. “They are creating what the European Union calls smart zones — several interconnected provinces working on the same projects,” said George.

One reason for this decentralized approach is the metaverse technology itself. It is actually not a single technology, but a mixture of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, payment platforms, graphics simulation, robotics, and more. “Judging by the moves they have made so far, it appears that they are working on core industries first to develop innovations that complement existing technologies,” said George.

Visitors experience the metaverse at the Beijing Trade Fair.
Visitors experience the metaverse at the Beijing Trade Fair. China News Service (China News Service via Getty Ima)

In 2017, the Chinese government set its sights on being the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, and announced a massive investment of $150 billion far beyond the capacity of any other country. According to a study by the World Intellectual Property Organization, in 2018, China already owned 57% of registered AI patents, and 17 of the world’s 20 leading AI institutions were Chinese. All of this begs the question: Will China inject these kinds of resources into metaviruses?

“China is reacting. At the moment, it does not consider the main aspect to be a strategic sector. But AI, smart cities, computing and the Internet of Things are strategic for China, and Beijing knows that dominance in these technologies will give it technological dominance.” “China has watched companies like Meta and Microsoft go all out, but decided to wait and see what happens. If the metaverse turns out to be nothing more than a bubble, then China will continue to make progress on core technologies and apply them in other regions. If the miavirs are real, China will continue to make progress in core technologies and apply them in other regions,” Cancella said. China will be ready to step in with gas and not give up any market share.”

controlled environment

It’s been nearly a year since Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg announced his plans for the “natural evolution of the Internet.” The young billionaire described a future not too far away in which we will all wear augmented reality glasses and spend several hours a day navigating a hyperreal digital environment. Everything we see, hear and touch in the metaverse will look real, but in reality it will be nothing more than ones and zeros. We will enter this computer designed world to play, shop, work, interact with friends and play sports.

Zuckerberg’s big bet is, above all, a form of escape. This is how the Portuguese politician and veteran Chinese observer Bruno Macys sees it. “I see one way to reconcile the metaverse with the interests of the CCP. The former Portuguese Minister of State for European Affairs wrote in City Journal.

A woman tries an interactive app at a trade fair in Beijing.
A woman tries an interactive app at a trade fair in Beijing. YiHaiFei (China News Service via Getty Ima)

China is already exploiting the inverse to bolster regime loyalty. The government established an educational center for the Communist Party of China to promote national values. Beijing views this as an epidemic-resistant way to mass train. Manu Monasterio, a professor of artificial intelligence and end-to-end marketing artificial intelligence, who is also an expert on China who has lived in the country for more than a decade, said.

Chinese citizens are the dream target of metaverse boosters. 62% of young people play video games on a daily basis, which is the area in which the metaverse currently has the greatest potential. According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, 75% of the Chinese population say they know what the metaverse is, compared to 28% of the French public.

However, anyone who wants to enter the Chinaverse will have to cooperate with the government. This is already the case with video games, which are heavily censored. Before going to the market, the games must first be approved by Beijing, which prohibits any content deemed obscene or containing excessive blood and violence. Reuters reports The Chinese government is considering a registration system for metaverse communities designed to prevent them from influencing broader public opinion and causing economic or financial shocks. An American businessman with several projects in China told Reuters that when Chinese consumers are willing to give away the technology associated with metaviruses, “…then there will be mass adoption at a level that I don’t think will happen in the West nearly as quickly.”

#Chinaverse #Chinese #metaverse #aims #hightech #suppress #subversion #Science #Technology

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *