With every major tech company looking to delve into the metaverse, Shanghai has issued development plans that showcase how it aims to deliver on the central government’s five-year plan issued back in March of 2021.
According to Chinese reports, the first plan released by Shanghai included a first mention of the metaverse. It made allusions to the role of a virtual world of three-dimensional avatars, and how the technology will extend human interactions.
The country’s largest city, Beijing is also getting serious about the metaverse and China’s government is looking to utilize it when forming the next-generation of the internet.
The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology stated that the metaverse is one of four frontiers for exploration during its five-year plan for developing the country’s electoral information industry.
According to a CNBC translation of the original Chinese text, the document called for “encouraging the application of the metaverse in areas such as public services, business offices, social entertainment, industrial manufacturing, production safety and electronic games.”
The commission also stated that it aims to increase the research and development of inferior technologies such as sensors, blockchain and real-time interaction. However, there was no specific timeline or goals laid out in the document for researching and developing the metaverse.
Beijing’s recent five-year plan that was released in March last year outlined seven “frontier” technologies that the country would concentrate on as it aims to become self-reliant in science and technology.
One of the biggest stories that caused the surge of interest in the metaverse concept was Facebook changing its brand name to Meta in October last year. Then not long ago, Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft stated that he expects the majority of virtual meetings will be held in the metaverse within the next two to three years.
In late December 2021, Beijing-based Baidu held the country’s first conference in the metaverse. The event was meant to be the opening of Baidu’s metaverse app to developers. One of the executives told reporters that he expects the app will be fully launched in six years.
Winston Ma, an adjunct professor of law at New York University stated “After a year of bans and greater regulation on various kinds of technology, including cryptocurrencies, new rules on metaverse development are likely next. “
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