China sets out blueprint for national metaverse development

In a policy document jointly issued by five ministries on September 8, China has set out a plan to develop a national metaverse through the development of augmented reality, AI, and blockchain technologies, the South China Morning Post has reported.

The plans involve building “three to five industrial clusters” and “three to five metaverse companies with global influence” specialising in these emerging technologies by 2025. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology led on putting together the blueprint, alongside the education and tourism ministries, the National Radio and Television Administration and the regulator of state-owned enterprises.

According to the document, a key objective of the national metaverse is to upgrade the country’s manufacturing industry to be “more advanced, intelligent and greener”. This ties in closely with “Made in China 2025”, an ambitious ten-year-plan unveiled in 2015 that seeks to make China a global powerhouse in high-tech manufacturing – and reduce its reliance on US technologies.

The metaverse is a three-dimensional hyper-realistic virtual world where people can interact via digital avatars. It is also a space where other emerging technologies can be combined: blockchain can contribute a high degree of data security within the metaverse, and artificial intelligence can generate diverse content for use inside the metaverse.  

The metaverse can be harnessed for manufacturing in a huge number of ways e.g., by training employees more quickly, generating to accurately identify product flaws, and setting up virtual design rooms to turbocharge remote design collaboration.


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