China is currently investigating the metaverse. While many companies are starting to create digital universes, the Chinese government is already working on a regulatory framework designed to prevent abuse. At the same time, Beijing wants to develop its own metaverse, the Yuan universe, to apply its own rules.
China is already calling for regulation of the metaverse
The rise of the metaverse has caught the attention of China. The Chinese authorities first mentioned the metaverse during the National People’s Congress, reports The Paper, a local media outlet close to the Communist Party. This legislative body meets for two weeks every year.
This year, there were two congressional meetings devoted to the regulation of the metaverse. In this regard, Kong Falong, deputy of the National People’s Congress, called on his colleagues to:a national metaverse research institute†
Aware of the growing interest of Chinese companies in digital worlds, the MP called for: “setting standards”† “to clarify the boundaries” and to determine “the red lines and forbidden zones of the industry”† Specifically, the politician wants establish a regulatory framework for brands that want to capitalize on the trend.
Zhang Ying, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CCPC), expressed a similar view at a meeting, reports the People’s Daily, a media outlet designed to relay propaganda from Beijing. The manager believes that it is urgent to regulate the development of the metaverse†
“It is recommended to regulate development, strengthen the legal system, improve relevant laws, regulations and judicial interpretations of digital assets. […] Relevant ministries should strengthen oversight of the sector and tackle illegal and criminal activities”says Zhang Ying.
Many China-based companies have jumped into the metaverse in recent months. In addition, the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration has already received 16,000 trademark applications with the term “metaverse”.
This is especially the case of ByteDanceparent company of the social network TikTokfrom Tencent and D’Ali Baba† For these companies, the metaverse and related technologies, namely virtual or augmented reality, are new means of attracting young internet users.
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The establishment of a “Yuan Universe” called in China
China will not just regulate the metaverse on its territory. Chinese lawmakers have already called for the creation of a digital universe dedicated to the inhabitants of the country, the “Yuan Universe”† This virtual world aims to combine social networks, streaming services and video game platforms.
In particular, to develop this metaverse reserved for China, Kong Falong wants to: rely on blockchain† In recent years, the Chinese government has repeatedly demonstrated its growing interest in blockchain. Beijing has also developed a private and centralized blockchain to protect his social credit system†
At the same time, several Chinese cities have already expressed interest in creating a metaverse. This is particularly the case in Shanghai’s Hongkou district, which was inaugurated a $158 million fund dedicated to the development of digital universes.
There is no doubt that the digital yuan, the digital currency of the Central Bank of China, will be added to this project sooner or later. With this metaverse fully under its control, the Chinese government will be able to: enforce strict censorshipsimilar to the one already imposed on the internet, explains Hanyu Liu, Chinese market analyst at CNBC.
“We should expect strict censorship here, meaning there will most likely be an isolated Chinese metaverse separate from the international one”emphasizes Hanyu Liu.
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Sources: The Paper, People’s Daily, CNBC
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