China Releases First National Action Plan to Accelerate Metaverse Development

news 12-Sep-2023 Asia

First National Action Plan Released, Accelerating the "Acceleration Key" of the Metaverse!

In recent weeks, technology stocks have experienced a continuous rebound, with the metaverse sector gaining significant popularity. Jiulian Technology (688609.SH) saw a rise of 12.55%, Jiachuang Video (300264.SZ) rose 10.05%, Tiandi Online (002995.SZ) rose 10%, Wave Information (000977.SZ) rose over 8%, Digital Video (300079.SZ) increased by 6.06%, and both Zhongwen Online (300364.SZ) and Wanxing Technology (300624.SZ) experienced a strong rise. Kunlun Wanwei (300418.SZ) also saw a significant increase.

Last week, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, along with four other departments, released the "Three-Year Action Plan for the Innovative Development of the Metaverse Industry (2023-2025)". This is the first official document at a national level specifically focused on the metaverse, and it carries significant implications for understanding the development of the metaverse industry. The metaverse has evolved from being a mere concept to a "basket that can hold everything," and is now entering a more "rational" development phase after the hype. With ongoing policy efforts, the metaverse is pressing the "acceleration key."

On September 8th, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in collaboration with four other departments, unveiled the "Three-Year Action Plan for the Innovative Development of the Metaverse Industry (2023-2025)". The plan aims to accelerate the implementation of industrial metaverse strategies in key sectors. It particularly focuses on promoting cross-industry collaboration based on the industrial metaverse in discrete manufacturing industries such as home appliances, automobiles, ships, aerospace, major technical equipment, and electronic information manufacturing.

The industrial metaverse is a new form of infrastructure, application model, and industrial ecosystem that integrates metaverse-related technologies such as XR, AI, IoT, cloud computing, and digital twins with the physical industrial economy. Its implementation can lead to cost reductions and increased production efficiency. This signifies that the metaverse is transitioning from a vague emerging technology to being deeply integrated with the physical economy.

The action plan also highlights the need to nurture 3 to 5 globally influential ecological enterprises and a cluster of specialized and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, while establishing 3 to 5 industry development clusters. By 2025, the metaverse is expected to become a significant growth catalyst for China's digital economy.

Considering that 2021 is often acknowledged as the first year of the metaverse, the release of this plan indicates that 2023 will be recognized as the initial year of national metaverse development. Forthcoming investments in metaverse research and development, improvements in supporting systems including taxation, investment and financing, and government procurement, as well as the exploration and commercial promotion of various application scenarios, are expected to surpass expectations.

Data also reveals a year-on-year decrease of 38.6% in the first half of 2023 in the total sales volume of consumer-grade XR devices in China, amounting to 382,000 units. In response to the developmental challenges faced by metaverse products in China, the plan focuses on developing metaverse entrances, virtual space application tools, and platforms that cater to social, cultural, and office needs. It aims to accelerate the widespread adoption of immersive display terminals like XR headsets and naked-eye 3D, support the supply and utilization of brain-computer interface products, digital humans, virtual space-related products, intelligent content generation products, real-time holographic communication, and other highly immersive products.

While developed countries such as the United States, Japan, and South Korea have been actively deploying the metaverse industry, China's domestic metaverse industry is now facing an urgent need for development. South Korea, for instance, aims to become one of the top five XR leading countries globally by 2020 and plans to establish Seoul as the world's first metaverse city. Furthermore, tech giants like Meta and Microsoft have made notable strides in the metaverse. Against this backdrop, the development of China's metaverse industry is becoming increasingly imperative.

According to analysts, this three-year action plan comprehensively addresses various aspects of the metaverse industry, including both the industrial and consumer metaverse. It provides national-level guidance for supporting technologies, industrial applications, regulatory governance, and software and hardware development, thereby facilitating the accelerated growth of the metaverse industry and serving as a vital driver for China's digital economy. It is worth noting that computing power serves as the foundation for the development of the digital economy.

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