China sets up a technology group dedicated to developing metaverse

A Chinese industry body designed to develop metaverse apps has recently added a bunch of new companies to fuel the latest tech craze .

According to CNBC, the metaverse committee of the state-backed China Mobile Communications Association on February 16 added another 17 companies, bringing the total to 112 companies or individuals in the industry body. Metaverse does not currently have a definite definition, but it often refers to technologies such as virtual reality, along with the idea that people can play and live in that world .

The latest batch of members includes publicly listed companies such as Shanghai-based Inly Media, and Shenzhen-traded Beijing Topnew Info & Tech. China Mobile Communications Association is registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. The association is supported by major technology companies such as Huawei and telecom operator China Mobile.

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The establishment of the metaverse group could indicate that China is looking to regulate this technology as it develops

The China Mobile Communications Association’s metaverse committee, established in October 2021, is tasked with developing standards and technologies around the metaverse. Normally, China would set up such special groups on the kind of technology it wants to develop quickly and lead, such as blockchain.

The formation of the metaverse committee could also indicate that China is looking to regulate the technology as it evolves. “Traditional Chinese internet businesses are first developed and then managed. Industries like the metaverse will also be regulated once they are built,” Du Zhengping, head of the metaverse committee of the China Mobile Communications Association, told Reuters in January 2022.

Like American tech giants, big Chinese tech firms from Tencent to Alibaba are exploring and developing metaverse applications. However, analysts say that China’s development of the metaverse is likely to be highly regulated and unlikely to use cryptocurrencies in transactions.