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Communications of the ACM

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China's Metaverse Is All About Work

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What’s emerging in China is very different from the metaverses envisioned in the West.

Credit: Anjali Nair

China's government aims to build a metaverse that supports the economy, while its Western counterparts are focused on consumers.

Said Siri Chen at Chinese augmented reality company HiAR, "At the current stage, everyone emphasizes industrial applications from education, medical, travel, and industrial development."

Digital twins, mixed reality, and blockchain were the core technologies forming the metaverse as defined by China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in 2021, although the government's cryptocurrency ban eliminated the third component.

The ban's decoupling of virtual spaces and digital assets advanced the Chinese metaverse model of centralized regulation, according to Zhengyuan Bo at China-oriented research firm Plenum.

Digital twins remain a key element of the government's metaverse, with five ministries having pledged to grow the virtual reality industry to 350 billion yuan ($51 billion) by 2025.

From Wired
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