Shanghai to hold first global metaverse event as China rushing to new opportunity

Asian Tech Press (Mar. 25) -- Shanghai plans to hold the first global metaverse conference on April 20, as local governments across China are seeking opportunities in digital economy.

With the theme of "New Economy, New Track, New Industry", the metaverse event is hosted by China Mobile Communications Association (CMCA), co-hosted by Shanghai Communications Administration (SCA), and co-organized by CMCA 's Exhibition Department, public radio and television internet information platform AsiaOTT and CMCA Metaverse Consensus Circle (CMCA-MCC).

Ni Jianzhong, President of CMCC and Chairman of the Global Metaverse Cosmic Congress, said, "Metaverse is not only a scientific and technological revolution, but also a profound change in the way of production, life and thinking and a great progress of society, which requires understanding and changing the world with Mr. Qian Xuesen's scientific thought system."

According to statistics, the event has brought together top academicians, scholars, experts and thousands of metaverse eco-innovators from China and overseas to register for participation.

Shanghai is the first city in China to include metaverse in the local 14th Five-Year Plan for information industry, and has taken the lead in "intensifying research on the important platform for the interaction between the virtual world and the real world in the future."

Zhao Xing, professor of Institute for Big Data at Fudan University and deputy director of Fudan University's National Experimental Base for Intelligent Evaluation and Governance, pointed out in an interview earlier this month that Shanghai advocates developing the metaverse industry by interacting the virtual world with the real world.

In terms of the development path of "promoting reality with virtuality," Zhao said, the games and social networking first proposed by Western companies are no longer the focus, and Shanghai has already put the emphasis on physical sectors such as industry, commerce, education and cultural and creative industries.

2021 is known as the "year of metaverse," and in 2022, it will become a new track for international technology innovation and integration capabilities.

With both market and policy push, Shanghai will host the global metaverse conference, while local governments around China are actively exploring and laying out to capture the high ground of the metaverse industry.

Since 2022, some local governments have issued policies to support development in the metaverse, and it has been written into their government work reports as another entry point for developing the digital economy.

Central China's Wuhan city held the first meeting of the 15th Municipal People's Congress on January 11. At the meeting, Mayor Cheng Yongwen proposed in the government work report that Wuhan should accelerate the growth of digital industry and promote the integration of metaverse, big data, cloud computing, block chain, geospatial information, quantum technology, etc. with the real economy.

Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province, opened the sixth meeting of the 17th Municipal People's Congress. The city's government work report pointed out that Chengdu will vigorously develop the digital economy, take the initiative to seize opportunities in quantum communication, metaverse and other future tracks, and strive for the added value of the core industry of digital economy to account for more than 12.8% of the regional GDP.

In a document issued on Feb. 23, Beijing's Tongzhou District Government proposed to create a fund covering the metaverse industry by relying on Tongzhou Industrial Guidance Fund and using the "mother fund + direct investment" approach to combine other social capital. It will also be the first metaverse fund in China.

In addition, Zhejiang, Nanchang, Haikou and other Chinese provinces and cities have clearly defined the development direction of the metaverse sector in their industrial plans. And China's sprawling capital Beijing will also promote the formation of new innovation consortia of metaverse and explore the construction of metaverse industry clusters.

With the early layout of the metaverse industry, local governments have made a good start for the sector to empower the real economy, which is conducive to promoting the development and technological progress of metaverse-related industries at the policy level.

As the metaverse concept continues to gain in popularity, China is also actively exploring regulatory measures.

On February 18, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) issued a risk alert on preventing illegal fund raising in the name of "metaverse", which is also the first regulatory directive on metaverse in China.

On February 21, CMCA-MCC issued the "Metaverse Industry Self-Regulation Convention", proposing that metaverse business should be based on serving the real economy, resolutely resisting capital speculation using hot concepts of metaverse and avoiding the formation of market bubbles.

The launch of related initiatives is further strengthening the regulation of metaverse industry in China, and the industry is expected to enter a phase of "compliant and orderly" development.

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