Shanghai Eyes $52bn Metaverse Tech Hub for 2025

China's most populous city plans its rise as the mainland's global hotspot for immersive technologies

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Published: July 14, 2022

Demond Cureton

The Shanghai City Government has unveiled plans to step up its efforts to build a metaverse industry by 2025, it revealed in a policy paper on Friday last week.

The proposal, drafted in December last year, comes amid the massive city’s Five-Year Plan to research, develop, and deploy emerging technologies, allowing Shanghai to rise as a major metaverse hub.

The massive effort aims to build a metaverse industry valued at $52 billion USD (350 billion yuan) by “strengthening cutting-edge technological breakthroughs” with novel semiconductors, virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays, cloud computing, 5G, and many other emerging technologies.

In the plan, it states Shanghai wants to build new formats and models for digital content as well as “promote the coupling and linkage of digital content and social platforms.”

It reads the government will,

“Strengthen the agglomeration of digital content companies and application scenarios, actively introduce international e-sports companies, well-known clubs, and event organizations to settle down, and speed up key factors such as virtual digital humans, graphics engines, cloud rendering, holographic imaging, artificial intelligence automatic generation, naked-eye 3D, 8K, [and others]”

It will also focus on cloud-based gaming, events, videos, and immersive experiences along with “intelligent interaction.” Other points of interest include building “positive” digital intellectual property ecosystems and boosting creative and user-generated content “based on new interactive experiences.”

Shanghai also hopes to build a group of ten “chain-owner” organisations to enter global markets, boost competition with rival firms, and direct 100 tech firms to develop metaverse solutions.

China’s Metaverse Moves

The news comes amid a surge in interest in non-fungible tokens and the Metaverse in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, than across the European Union or United States, a Statistica report revealed as cited by Coindesk.

Chinese researchers from the Purple Mountain Lab group announced in January they had reached a huge breakthrough in digital telecommunications after testing 6G terahertz wireless speeds, which reached 206.25 gigabits per second, or more than ten times faster than conventional 5G speeds.

Beijing has also rallied support from the global extended reality (XR) community in October last year with its 2021 World Conference on the VR Industry. The Nanchang-based event invited 2,000 top executives, researchers, and firms across the sector to build new use cases for immersive technologies.

Mainland tech giants such as Tencent Holdings, Baidu, Huawei Technologies, and TikTok owner ByteDance have also boosted efforts to build new metaverse technologies such as headsets, software solutions, cloud computing, mixed reality (MR) headsets, and other infrastructures.



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