China forms metaverse working group with Huawei, Tencent, Ant Group and others

China forms metaverse working group with Huawei, Tencent, Ant Group and others

China has formed a working group to push for standardization for the metaverse sector, as the world’s second-largest economy looks to drive the growth of the nascent industry.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a notice released Friday that it has formed a working group with representatives from the government, academia and corporations.

Members of the working group include those from Chinese tech giants, such as Huawei, Ant Group, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase and Sense Time.

The creation of the task force comes as the country hopes to set up industrial standards for its metaverse sector. The MIIT said in a document released in September that the formulation of basic standards such as metaverse terminology and reference architecture could be beneficial for unifying consensus among stakeholders.

“It helps reduce redundant investment costs and creates a collaborative force to drive industrial development,” the MIIT said.

The ministry added that there’s currently no consensus among academia, industry and research sectors on the definition of the metaverse. “The intense speculation fueled by some capital and businesses leveraging the popularity of the metaverse has led to the concept drifting far from its practical value,” the ministry continued. “This, to a certain extent, hinders the development of the metaverse industry.”

Pledges to boost Web3

China intends to encourage the development of non-fungible tokens and decentralized applications as the country continues embracing blockchain technology — despite a cryptocurrency ban. The MIIT said in a December document that it plans to formulate strategy documents to clarify the development path of Web3.

Last year, several local governments pledged to develop the metaverse industry. Sichuan — a southwestern Chinese province that was once a crypto mining hub prior to the country’s mining ban — said in August that it aims to grow its metaverse industry to reach a market size of 250 billion yuan ($35.1 billion) by 2025.

In August, Shandong province also said that it plans to grow metaverse-related initiatives in the province to reach a market size of 150 billion yuan by 2025.

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