China Mobile, one of the largest Chinese telecommunications companies, has launched a metaverse industry alliance with 24 founding members, including tech giants Huawei, Xiaomi and Unity China. 

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Fast facts

  • Announced at the 2023 Mobile World Congress in Shanghai on Wednesday, the alliance aims to boost collaborations across metaverse content creation, extended reality (XR) terminals, computing networks, and technological research, Shanghai Securities Journal, a state-backed media outlet, reported.
  • Liu Xin, general manager of China Mobile’s digital content subsidiary Migu Culture Technology, has reportedly been appointed as the chief secretary of the alliance, according to The Paper, a local digital news service.
  • Liu reportedly stated on Wednesday that the alliance will bolster the metaverse initiatives of its members by setting up an investment fund under China Mobile. Additionally, he said that the company’s financial commitment to metaverse projects is expected to double over the coming three years.
  • China Mobile is a state-owned telecommunication company and one of the world’s largest mobile network operators, with almost 1 billion subscribers. The company is also known for its involvement in blockchain technology as a founding member of China’s state-backed Blockchain-based Service Network.
  • China Mobile also introduced the “General Standard for XR” last week, which is reportedly China’s first industry standard for the interoperability of XR devices. 
  • The unveiling of the metaverse industry alliance comes amid growing interest in the metaverse across China, with multiple cities including Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou having released metaverse policies or plans in 2023.
  • Despite Chinese tech giants Tencent and Baidu winding down their metaverse businesses earlier this year, the metaverse continues to be a focal point for local players. In May, China Mobile’s Migu announced plans to establish a metaverse headquarters in Xiamen city. Similarly, iFlytek, an artificial intelligence firm and one of the founding members of the alliance, set up an XR and metaverse lab in Guangzhou city in June.

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