The MIIT emphasized the current lack of consensus among academia, industry, and research sectors regarding the definition of the metaverse.
On Friday, 19 January, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT) disclosed the establishment of a metaverse working group dedicated to advancing the creation of the state-owned digital universe known as Yuanverse.
The MIIT said in a circular that the working group comprises representatives from the government, academia, and prominent corporations such as Huawei, Ant Group, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and Sense Time.
Three-Year Action Plan for the Creation of Yuanverse in China
The newly formed group will play a significant role in setting standards for the Yuanverse.
According to Friday’s notice, the move is part of the country’s efforts to meet the various needs of industrial development and industrial management based on the opinions of “relevant” authorities in China.
The formation of the metaverse working group comes a few months after the country unveiled its Three-Year Action Plan for the Innovative Development of the Metaverse Industry in September last year.
At the time, the MIIT said the plan was jointly issued by the ministry as well as other ministries in the country, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the National Radio and Television Administration, the Ministry of Education, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.
The metaverse action plan, designed to last between 2023 and 2025, encourages cultural sites such as museums and art galleries to offer immersive digital experiences for visitors. Additionally, the plan prompts the TV and entertainment industries to create digital anchors to enhance services for their audiences.
Worries About the Lack of Basic Rules for the Metaverse
With the establishment of the metaverse working group, the country has taken a significant step towards achieving its three-year action plan. The Chinese government aims to establish industrial standardization for the metaverse market with the task force.
In a document published in September 2023, the MIIT highlighted the importance of formulating basic standards, including metaverse terminology and reference architecture for the metaverse sector, despite the country’s blanket ban on crypto.
These standards are seen as essential for building consensus among stakeholders, reducing redundant investment costs, and fostering collaborative efforts to drive industrial development.
The MIIT emphasized the current lack of consensus among academia, industry, and research sectors regarding the definition of the metaverse. The ministry also expressed concerns about speculative activities in the metaverse market, fueled by capital and businesses, leading to a deviation from practical value. The MIIT said this divergence, to some extent, impedes the development of the online universe.
Roadmap for Web3 Adoption
China’s adoption of the metaverse is not limited to the federal level. Local governments across the nation have also pledged support for the metaverse industry. Sichuan, a province that was once a crypto mining hub, aims to achieve a market size of 250 billion yuan ($35.1 billion) in the metaverse industry by 2025.
Similarly, another local government, Shandong province, has set ambitious goals, planning to reach a market size of 150 billion yuan in metaverse-related initiatives next year.
Meanwhile, China has also shown commitment to other aspects of the emerging economy despite its ban on crypto trading, mining, and other activities such as staking.
Last month, MIIT released another document outlining plans to formulate strategy documents to clarify the development path of Web3. Notably, the country actively encourages the development of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized applications.