China’s technology firms among pacesetters of metaverse

A visitor (right) attempts metaverse games at the 2021 International Digital Technology Expo and Tianyi Intelligent Ecological Expo in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, on November 11, 2021. [Photo by Li Zhihao/For China Daily]

Imagine a world where you can transcend the limitations of screens or the limits of physics by transporting yourself as a hologram or a virtual 3D character, to be with your friends wherever they are.

You can hug them, and make real eye contact to show your love, just like you would in real life.

This is part of what technical buzzwords promise. You’ll likely experience it sooner than expected, as global tech giants and pioneers rush to develop industry standards for virtual space.

China’s tech giants Huawei and Alibaba are among the first group of companies — along with Meta, which used to be known as Facebook, and Microsoft from the United States — to form a standards group aimed at accelerating meta development.

Participants in the Metaverse Standards Forum include many of the largest companies in the sector, from chip makers to gaming companies, as well as well-established standards-setting bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium, the group said in a press release Tuesday. its creation.

“Industry leaders have stated that the potential of the metaverse will be best realized if it is built on open standards,” the group said. “Building an open and inclusive metaverse at scale requires a set of open interoperability standards.”

The move indicates that companies are racing to build the metaverse concept and want to make their emerging digital worlds compatible with one another, said Yu Jianning, executive director of the metaverse industry committee at the China Mobile Communications Association, a Beijing-based industry. body.

This could make it easier for developers to build the same content for different metaverse platforms or for users to export data from one service to another, which will help build a thriving ecosystem in the future, Yu said.

Pan Helen, co-director of the Center for Research on Digital Economy and Financial Innovation at Zhejiang University International Business School, said that the presence of Huawei and Alibaba as founding members of the standards group demonstrates the influence of Chinese companies in the emerging field of metaverse.

Seven of China’s major tech companies, including Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, Oppo and Alibaba, have been among the top companies to file virtual and augmented reality patent applications globally in the past two years, data from R&D Analytics in Singapore showed. PatSnap Provider.

Virtual reality and augmented reality are key technologies to be used in the metaverse.

Hu Houkun, Huawei’s rotating president, said earlier that the company is trying to understand the essence behind the hustle and bustle of the metaverse to better prepare for the future.

Hu Jintao said the main trend is likely to be more important to businesses or enterprise-oriented applications than ordinary consumers. “We need to calmly look at its development. Huawei’s technology portfolio is vast, and we can do a lot of things in this area in the future.”

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