The metaverse, a virtual world that allows users to share experiences and interact in real time within simulated scenarios, is set to experience an explosion of mainstream popularity this year.
With China taking the lead on investing in related technologies such as VR, AI, and AR, the country is poised to become a global hub for the metaverse.
Research firm GlobalData predicts that Chinese investments in metaverse-related technology will be more than double that of advancements seen in the West and highlight the overall value of this new technology.
China’s investment in Metaverse
The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published a 12-page plan on mixing the VR sector with industrial applications such as manufacturing, showing the country’s willingness to keep up with this trending technology.
GlobalData predicts that Chinese investments in metaverse-related technologies will outpace advances in the West and have positioned China as a global hub for metaverse advancements.
Despite strict regulations, China will continue to invest in VR and AI, in particular, to promote economic development. Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his company to Meta earlier this year, marking the change to a central metaverse focus.
Global investment rate decreases
Unfortunately, deals in two of the core technologies that make up the metaverse – AR and VR – have dropped considerably in the past year.
In 2021, $5.8bn was invested globally across 1,910 deals – a decrease of more than half from the previous year, which saw a total of $18bn invested across 2,109 deals.
GlobalData expects that the metaverse industry will be worth $376bn by 2025 and predicts that there will be a ‘metaverse winter’ in 2023 due to cooling interest, economic obstacles, and immaturity of the enabling technologies.
Despite this temporary dip in global investment, China is expected to succeed as the leader in metaverse-related technology investments.
Chinese companies are already wildly successful; ByteDance overtook even TikTok in 2020 to become the most valuable tech company in the world with a valuation of $180bn.
The country was also ranked number one globally in terms of AR and VR startups, with a staggering 339 out of 1,040 platforms based within China’s borders. This is more than double the number of companies seen in the US and Europe.
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