China’s metaverse market is anticipated to reach a value of US$12.6 billion in 2023, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 31.93% from 2023 to 2030 (data from China Briefing). The concept of the metaverse, previously confined to the realms of science fiction, has now become a crucial part of China’s economic vision. Traditionally reliant on the manufacturing and export sectors, China perceives the metaverse as a medium for economic diversification, reducing dependence on traditional sectors and creating new opportunities for economic growth.
In the pursuit of economic diversification through the metaverse, China is also focusing on job creation and skills development. The metaverse industry in China is expected to generate numerous new jobs, involving various roles such as software developers, content creators, hardware manufacturers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and virtual architects. This demonstrates the potential of the metaverse in transforming the employment landscape and providing access to new opportunities in various fields.
With its ambitious vision, China is striving to develop a metaverse focusing on the B2B and industrial sectors, aiming to become a global leader in industrial metaverse applications. However, to realize this vision and export metaverse technology as a global standard, China must overcome various challenges, including issues related to data protection and privacy, which will be key to China’s success in leading the industrial metaverse revolution.
Technology and Innovation
In the continually evolving technological era, China needs to innovate and develop metaverse technology that can compete globally. Sustained technological excellence is key to ensuring the relevance and superiority of China’s industrial metaverse applications in global competition.
China needs to focus its research and development (R&D) on key metaverse technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. Investment in this R&D will enable China to produce proprietary technology and strengthen its domestic metaverse ecosystem. Additionally, collaboration with universities, research institutions, and other technology companies will accelerate the innovation and development of metaverse technology.
Regulation and Standards
The development of effective and consistent regulations and technical standards is a central challenge in realizing the industrial metaverse. To create internationally acceptable regulations, China needs to consider implementing international standards like GDPR and ensuring transparency and accountability in data processing. Adopting and adapting to international norms will build trust and ensure compliance with existing international norms and standards.
Multilateral dialogue and a participatory approach are also crucial in this process. Through dialogue with various countries and international institutions, and involving stakeholders from the industry, academia, and civil society, China can ensure that diverse perspectives and interests are represented in the development of metaverse regulations and standards. This will assist in agreeing on international norms and standards that are acceptable to the global community.
Additionally, strengthening cybersecurity, education and awareness about regulations, and developing technology ethics that respect human rights and privacy are other important steps. By implementing these measures, China can create a balanced and responsible regulatory framework, enabling sustainable development of the industrial metaverse that is acceptable to the international community.
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
Cybersecurity and data privacy are crucial elements in the development and export of metaverse technology by China. To gain global trust, it is imperative for China to demonstrate unwavering commitment to protecting user data and privacy. Given the concerns that have arisen from cases like TikTok and Huawei, concrete measures and transparency in user data management are vital to address doubts and suspicions from the international community.
Implementing international data security standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 and independent security audits by trusted third parties are vital initial steps. These will not only strengthen the integrity of security systems but also provide concrete evidence to the international community about China’s seriousness in safeguarding data security and user privacy.
Full transparency in data processing will also play a crucial role in building trust and clarifying data management procedures and practices. Additionally, international cooperation in cybersecurity and the development of cybersecurity education and awareness programs are initiatives that will enhance understanding and vigilance against potential security risks.
Cooperation and dialogue with international institutions and other countries will enable the exchange of knowledge and best practices, strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation on good security practices and standards. By implementing these measures, China can address global concerns about data security and privacy and position itself as a responsible leader in the development of metaverse technology.
Commitment to security and data privacy will be a solid foundation in building mutually beneficial relationships with international partners and expanding the influence of China’s metaverse technology on the global stage.
To address geopolitical challenges and strengthen its position in the global metaverse community, international collaboration is a crucial strategy for China. Concrete forms of this collaboration can include active participation in international forums and dialogues on the metaverse, enabling knowledge and experience sharing and understanding the needs and concerns of various stakeholders. Additionally, undertaking joint research and development projects with international entities will accelerate innovation and provide access to complementary resources and expertise.
The formation of international metaverse consortiums and cooperation in cybersecurity and regulations with other countries and international institutions are also important steps. These will help establish international standards and promote interoperability between metaverse platforms, strengthening security and trust among nations within the metaverse ecosystem.
Exchange programs and training with international institutions can also strengthen relationships between professional communities and enhance the understanding and skills of China’s human resources in the metaverse field. By adopting these international collaboration strategies, China can not only expand and enrich its industrial metaverse development but also significantly contribute to shaping and developing a more inclusive and sustainable global metaverse ecosystem. This will enable China to play a key role in the evolution of the metaverse and promote its vision on a global scale.
China aspires to be a leader in the industrial and B2B metaverse, but multidimensional challenges, including privacy and data protection issues, must be addressed to realize this vision and establish China’s metaverse technology as a global standard. Through an integrated and holistic approach to addressing these challenges, China has the potential to lead the industrial metaverse revolution, unlocking opportunities for innovation and economic growth, and enhancing the development of the industrial and B2B sectors globally.