Since the beginning of this year, governments in many places have successively launched “New City Card” projects such as the Metaverse Government Affairs Hall, Cultural Tourism Metaverse, City Virtual Image Ambassador, and Metaverse Business District.

According to media reports, as of now, there have been more than 40 bids and purchases by local governments for Metaverse-related products and services, the types of which are relatively concentrated in the fields of exhibitions, smart spaces, digital humans, media communication, and software and hardware integration. 300 million yuan, with a maximum of over 30 million yuan for a single transaction.

In addition, relevant reports from the China Economics Think Tank show that since the beginning of this year, more than a dozen cities across the country have successively released Metaverse Action Plans. Shanghai, Beijing and many other places released support signals in the form of government work reports, action plans, industrial policies, etc., and stepped up the layout of the metaverse industry track.

Figure | Cloud Power Digital Twin Smart Park

In the past year’s development, the governments of various places in my country have changed from prudent supervision to actively formulating rules for the development of the metaverse industry, and then to establishing industrial clusters to encourage development. successful experience in other industries.


The essence of metaverse is industry

Metaverse is one of the most concerned topics in the society and industry today. It is not a single technology or industry, but a concept of emerging industrial clusters under the wave of digital transformation.

At present, the Metaverse industry is still in the “new infrastructure” period, which has spawned many attractive software and hardware segments, such as communication technology, cloud computing, edge computing, Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, etc. , these market segments will benefit directly or indirectly from the Metaverse.

Relevant reports predict that the current output value of the upstream and downstream industries of my country’s metaverse exceeds 40 billion, mainly reflected in game entertainment, VR and AR hardware, etc. In the next five years, the domestic metaverse market will break through at least 200 billion.

Figure | VR observation of auto parts

In the long run, metaverse-related industries have huge room for expansion, but they are still in their infancy. Policy makers need to maintain keen insight and a sense of direction, implement guidance and policy preference for the development of metaverse industries, and develop corresponding layouts.

Compared with Europe and the United States, the Chinese government can mobilize more resources and has stronger execution capabilities. After taking the initiative to enter the game, it is expected to form effective guidance and norms for enterprises. Metaverse-related hardware and software ecological industries are expected to continue to develop.

Generally speaking, local governments will build industrial clusters through guidance funds, industrial parks, and demonstration projects. This is also an effective way to support the development of emerging industries with Chinese characteristics. The semiconductor industry and Hefei’s electric vehicle industry are relevant success stories.


Government guidance, in the ascendant

As of July this year, local governments of at least 7 provinces and 17 cities in China have issued related construction plans for the metaverse industry, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi, Wuhan, Chaozhou, Langfang, Baoding, Sanya, etc., have already or clearly will carry out relevant work .

From the perspective of various local policies, there are generally two ideas for the development of Metaverse in China: one is to regard it as an emerging industry with considerable potential, and the other is to regard it as a cutting-edge technology that empowers the real economy.

Beijing is building a “1+N” industrial cluster with Tongzhou Zhangjiawan Metaverse Innovation Center as the core. The Beijing Municipal Government regards Zhangjiawan as the innovation center for technology and applications, and the surrounding Songzhuang Art District, Canal Business District and other places as the landing areas for technology and applications. The upstream and downstream layout of the industry is complete.

At the same time, the Beijing Municipal Government adopts a 100 billion-level “Fund of Funds + Direct Investment” to provide investment and financing support for enterprises, and provides financial subsidies for rent to the companies that have settled in the Metaverse, so as to escort the initial stage of the companies that have settled in the Metaverse. In addition, the Beijing Municipal Government also strengthens internal and external exchanges through industrial cooperation activities such as the establishment of industrial alliances and international forums, and provides financial, financial and legislative support for outstanding Metaverse talents and teams.

Shanghai is building a metaverse industrial highland and attaches great importance to the synergistic effect of industrial alliances. The Shanghai Municipal Government has launched a series of supporting policies such as Caohejing and Zhangjiang Digital Chain, two metaverse characteristic parks, and a 10-billion-dollar universe industry fund, aiming to develop the core technical capabilities of the metaverse, such as cloud computing + edge computing, artificial intelligence + big data. Upgrade the digital format and provide business, entertainment, industrial and other landing scenarios for Metaverse technology, aiming to build Shanghai into a Metaverse industrial highland.

In addition, the Shanghai Municipal Government is also actively building an industry-university-research integrated industrial alliance. At the press conference of the Shanghai Municipal Government held on July 8, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization stated that it will build 10 leading companies with international competitiveness and 100 specialized and new companies with core technologies. By 2025 , the city’s Metaverse industry scale exceeded 350 billion.

Figure | Shanghai Yangpu Bridge adopts digital twin management

In the next 3 years, Henan will build about 10 domestic first-class metaverse technology research and innovation platforms, initially establish an open and collaborative metaverse technology innovation system; build 1 metaverse core park, 3-5 characteristic parks, and cultivate 10 furniture Metaverse backbone enterprises with core competitiveness, 200 specialized and new enterprises in metaverse subdivision fields, and 500 innovative small and medium-sized enterprises. And create 100 metaverse demonstration application scenarios in the fields of industrial manufacturing, cultural tourism, public services, social governance, social entertainment, education, medical care, etc., and accelerate the cultivation of the metaverse development ecosystem.

Hangzhou uses sufficient policies to develop the XR industry. Hangzhou will build a 40,000-square-meter industrial park with “core and boundless”, extending the R&D chain and industrial chain to the Yangtze River Delta. According to the website of the Yuhang District Government of Hangzhou, it will provide full-chain investment and financing services for settled enterprises by establishing an industry fund of 1 billion yuan and a risk pool of up to 5 million yuan for a single project, so as to accelerate the transformation of technological achievements of enterprises.

The Industrial Metaverse of “Transcending the Virtual to the Real”

The Hangzhou municipal government will also open up a batch of XR application scenarios every year, and give priority to the government of settled enterprises to purchase, so as to accelerate the implementation of industrial applications. In addition, the Hangzhou Municipal Government has more preferential policies for talent introduction, XR patent pre-examination, and protection of intellectual property rights.


Cultivating the metaverse “oasis” is the key

Basic research is the “master switch” of scientific and technological innovation and the source support for key core technological breakthroughs. This logic still holds true in the metaverse. Some point out that the “soil” for encouraging basic scientific research in China has not yet formed, and many enterprises still have the mentality of “earning quick money”, and local governments also expect “immediate results” in return for attracting investment.

Luo Jun, executive chairman of the Metaverse Special Committee of the China Computer Industry Association, recently said in an interview with the media that the development of the Metaverse industry should not be rushed for success. The cultivation and growth of emerging industries will take a long time. He believes that cultivating the ecological construction of the metaverse should be the core element at present. Without an ecological chain, there will be no industrial chain. “We must first build a small oasis in the desert before we can talk about growing into a forest.”

Luo Jun believes that from a research point of view, it will take at least another 10 to 15 years to develop the metaverse, because the technology and theoretical foundation of the metaverse still needs breakthroughs before it can mature. Judging from the current technology and theory, the metaverse can easily become a “bubble”. But if researchers can follow up the development and make up for the shortcomings of the technical theory, the bubble may become a reality.