China’s tech giants are headed to the metaverse! Companies like WeChat owner Tencent, TikTok owner ByteDance and Alibaba are leading the charge. As the world’s second-largest economy this would be a huge step towards global adoption. In addition, it would mean more exciting virtual worlds that users can play, earn and live in!
Building China Metaverse
According to Morgan Stanley, the total addressable market for the metaverse in China could be 52 trillion yuan, or around $8 trillion. So understandably, companies are wasting no time to take part in the digital transformation thanks to the metaverse.
In an earnings call in November, Tencent CEO Pony Ma said the metaverse would be an opportunity to add growth to existing industries such as gaming. Tencent is the world’s largest gaming company with a strong PC and mobile games portfolio. In addition, it owns messaging and payment service WeChat with over a billion users.
Ma is confident that Tencent is ready to take its first steps towards the metaverse. He said the company has “a lot of the technology and know-how building blocks” to explore and develop the metaverse.
Meanwhile, ByteDance has made an aggressive expansion into gaming over the last year. In August, the company acquired virtual reality headset maker Pico. ByteDance also owns video-centric social media app TikTok. It already has expertise in VR, social media and gaming.
Alibaba is also entering the space. It is China’s — and by some measures, the world’s — biggest online commerce company, so this pivot would be phenomenal. This year, it plans to launch augmented reality glasses for virtual meetings. Augmented reality refers to virtual images overlaid in the real world. Again, this is a sample technology with Metaverse applications.
The Asian market led the global cryptocurrency adoption — China, Japan and Korea, to be more specific. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the tech giants would pave the way for more companies and brands to shift their business.