Experts and insiders are optimistic about the prospects for Metaverse

Experts and insiders are optimistic about the prospects for Metaverse

Visitors interact with a virtual character at a booth to promote Metaverse during a high-tech exhibition in Beijing in July. CHEN XIAOGEN/CHINA DAILY

Industry insiders said that with its huge Internet user base, powerful 5G network and advanced manufacturing capacity, China’s metaverse market is expected to embrace a bright future.

“With major technological breakthroughs, some third-party organizations estimate that the industry in China will reach 200 billion yuan ($28 billion),” said Yu Chen, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group, who is also a core member of the firm’s Technology, Media and Communications practice. In five years.”

Currently, the market size of the metaverse industry in China is about 40 billion yuan, according to the Annual Report on Metaverse Development in China 2022, published by the Academic Publishing House of Social Sciences.

Yu, who holds a positive attitude towards the industry, said, “In the next five years, the development of China’s metaverse can be compared to the development of smartphones over the past decades.”

Yu Jianning, executive director of the metaverse industry committee of the China Mobile Communications Association, said: “During the latest round of mobile Internet development in China, a large number of excellent technology companies have emerged. They have accumulated enormous resources and experience in scientific innovation, which act as elements Fundamental to push forward China’s counter development.”

“Specifically along the path of development of Chinese enterprises, there are some niche paths that are worth investing in,” BCG’s Yu said.

BCG’s Yu pointed out that based on the construction framework, the target investment path for the Chinese metaverse market is mainly composed of technology components, interaction portals, and content.

“The interaction portals of the metaverse are the media that convey the virtual experience to users. They often appear in the forms of extended reality equipment such as augmented reality and virtual reality equipment.”

According to the BCG report, as early as 2012, Google launched the Google Glass XR head-mounted display. Many manufacturers have followed this lead and gained the ability to produce XR equipment.

With the spread of the metaverse concept, a boost in the development of XR equipment has emerged in 2021. Between 2018 and 2020, annual global shipments of XR equipment are about 5.5 million units to 6 million units. However, in 2021, the number jumped to 11.2 million units, nearly double the previous year’s level. Data from BCG showed that the value of freight had reached $5 billion.

“The peak of investment in China’s XR equipment sector also came in 2021, with a total of 107 financing deals. The total investment reached 28.1 billion yuan, up 208.8 percent year-on-year,” the BCG report stated.

BCG’s Yu said: “XR equipment research and development and manufacturing is currently an investment hot spot in China. Some technical bottlenecks have not been resolved. For example, augmented reality equipment and virtual reality equipment are still large, heavy, and not convenient enough for consumers. Still a supply unit Optical lenses in VR equipment cause dizziness during long-term wear.

“Both startups and major technology companies in China are striving to break down technical barriers, generating investment hotspots in the XR equipment sector.”

Rokid Inc., a high-tech company based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, is among the first batch of Chinese technology companies to start the research and development of XR equipment. In 2016, Rokid’s R-Lab was established, focusing on visual image recognition and augmented reality technology research and development. In 2018, the augmented reality glasses – Rokid Glass – was launched as the first mass-produced augmented reality glasses in China.

Misa Zhu, founder and CEO of Rokid, said that most of the investment the company has attracted has been poured into research and development, as it has been striving to produce AR glasses that are light, comfortable, and attractive to make consumers want to wear glasses for extended periods.

The latest version of Rokid’s AR glasses, the Rokid Air, weighs in at 83 grams – a pretty impressive result for the industry. Zhu said that to reduce the weight of the product, the company worked hard on the design and optimized the space inside the AR glasses.

The last shopping festival on November 11 saw the success of Rokid Air. Data from the company showed that during the shopping festival, more than 10,000 units of Rokid Air were sold.

“The development of 2B scenarios is also worth investing in as companies look for industrial solutions that take advantage of the metaverse,” said BCG’s Yu.

“For example, medical companies are considering using virtual reality technology to pre-plan and rehearse surgery; while airlines want to use the metaverse to train their pilots.”

Speaking of the future development of Chinese metaverses, BCG’s Yu suggested that apart from breaking down technical barriers, policy guidance and industry standardization of laws and regulations are needed.

“Chinese technology companies will take the road of lower-level technology design that is different from the rest of the world. Using their own advantages, they must accelerate their pace, effectively break through technical bottlenecks, and mass-produce cost-effective XR equipment to seize market opportunities.”

Rokid’s Zhu said: “There is still a long way to go. Currently, XR glasses can only be used in specific scenarios. Equipping them with full capabilities will be very challenging in technical process, production capacity and materials, including semiconductors.”

When asked if the company was worried about “bottleneck” problems in chips, he said: “We are taking a domestic route, reducing the risk of relying on advanced imported materials. So far, we have not encountered” bottleneck “problems. In the long term, we expect it to improve General environment. Let’s give it a little time and trust.”

Chen Jia, an independent researcher at International Strategy, said, “The past months have seen bumpy developments in the global metaverse industry. Compared with the rest of the world, the market in China has made the most development, especially in terms of policies.”

In 2022, the governments of Beijing and Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Fujian will launch guidelines and action plans for the Metaverse sector.

said Hong Yong, an associate research fellow at the E-commerce Research Department of the Ministry of Commerce.

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