Local Chinese governments and state-backed entities are investing large amounts of cash into metaverse-related firms, as China attempts to be at the forefront of the new digital phenomenon, reports the Financial Times. On Wednesday, China’s newly formed Metaverse Industry Committee announced that 17 companies had been included in the organization to “promote the healthy, orderly and sustainable development of the metaverse.”
The committee, established in October by the state-owned telecoms company China Mobile, aims for companies to discuss new rules, policies and projects. It is one of the many initiatives involving state-backed groups and local officials that are also seeking stakes in metaverse companies amid an investment frenzy.
Western giants, including Facebook parent Meta and Microsoft, have already placed multibillion-dollar bets on creating technologies that underpin hyper-realistic virtual worlds filled with avatars, seeing the development as the next evolution of the internet. China’s large internet companies including Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba Group have filed metaverse-related trademarks in recent months, hoping to dominate what Morgan Stanley in a recent investment note predicted could swell into an $8 billion industry in China alone.
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