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Experts, insiders bullish on prospects of metaverse

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Visitors interact with virtual characters at a booth promoting the Metaverse at a high-tech expo in Beijing in July.Chen Xiaogen/For China Daily

Thanks to its huge netizen base, powerful 5G network and advanced manufacturing capabilities, China’s metaverse market is projected to embrace a bright future, industry insiders said.

“Several third-party organizations have made significant technological breakthroughs to help China’s industry grow,” said Yu Chen, managing director and partner of the Boston Consulting Group and core member of the company’s technology, media and telecommunications business. is estimated to reach 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in five years.”

According to the Annual Report 2022 on China’s Metaverse Development published by Social Sciences Academic Press, at present, the market size of China’s Metaverse industry is about 40 billion yuan.

“In the next five years, the development of the metaverse in China will rival the development of smartphones in the last few decades,” said Yu, who is positive about the industry.

Yu Jianing, executive director of the China Mobile Communications Association’s Metaverse Industry Committee, said: It will serve as a key factor in driving China’s metaverse development. ”

“There are several niche tracks in the development path of Chinese companies that are particularly worth investing in,” said BCG’s Yu.

BCG’s Yu pointed out that based on the construction framework, the target investment track for China’s metaverse market mainly consists of technology components, interaction portals, and content.

“Metaverse interaction portals are media that communicate virtual experiences to users, often in the form of augmented reality devices such as augmented reality and virtual reality devices.”

BCG reports that Google launched the XR head-mounted display Google Glass in 2012. Many manufacturers have followed suit and acquired capacity for XR equipment.

As the metaverse concept spreads, 2021 has accelerated the development of XR equipment. From 2018 to 2020, annual global shipments of XR devices were approximately 5.5 to 6 million units. However, in 2021, it will jump to 11.2 million units, nearly double the previous year. Shipments reached $5 billion, according to BCG data.

According to BCG’s report, “The climax of investment in China’s XR equipment sector will also come in 2021, with a total of 107 financings. The total investment amounted to 28.1 billion yuan, an increase of 208.8% year-on-year. “It has said.

BCG’s Yu said: The optical projection module of VR equipment still causes dizziness after long time wearing.

“Both Chinese startups and major tech companies are striving to break down technological barriers, creating investment hot spots in the XR equipment sector.”

Rokid Inc, a high-tech company based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, was one of the first Chinese technology companies to start researching and developing XR equipment. In 2016, Rokid’s R-Lab was established with a focus on research and development of optical image recognition and his AR technology. In 2018, AR glasses, Rokid Glass, were released. This is the first mass-produced AR glasses in China.

Rokid founder and CEO Misa Zhu said most of the investment the company has raised has gone into R&D. This is because we have been striving to produce light, comfortable and attractive AR glasses that make consumers want to wear glasses for a long time. .

The latest version of Rokid’s AR glasses, the Rokid Air, weighs 83 grams, a very impressive result for the industry. Zhu said the company has worked hard on the design and optimized the space inside the AR glasses to reduce the weight of the product.

The recent November 11 shopping festival is proof of Rokid Air’s success. More than 10,000 Rokid Air units were sold at the shopping festival, according to company data.

BCG’s Yu said:

“For example, medical companies are looking to use VR technology to pre-plan and rehearse surgeries, while airlines want to use the Metaverse to train their pilots.”

Regarding the future development of China’s metaverse, BCG’s Yu suggested that apart from breaking down technical barriers, policy guidelines and industry standardization through laws and regulations are needed.

“Chinese technology companies will take the path of designing technology at the lowest level, unlike the rest of the world. We need to break through the barriers and mass-produce cost-effective XR equipment to capture the market opportunity,” he added.

Rokid’s Zhu said: .”

When asked if the company was concerned about the chip “bottleneck” problem, he said: Problem. In the long run I hope the overall environment will improve. Give it a little time and confidence.

Chen Jia, an independent researcher in international strategy, said: “

In 2022, the governments of Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Fujian will release guidelines and action plans for the Metaverse sector.

“The market is expected to embrace exponential growth as central and local governments vigorously promote the industry, businesses actively participate, and consumers become more knowledgeable about the Metaverse,” said the Ministry of Commerce.

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