Chinese companies are rushing to the fore to develop their metaverse ideas, though state media have recently warned about the associated risks the emerging technology could bring.

Fast facts

  • An opinion piece published yesterday by state-owned Economic Daily said the hotter the metaverse gets, the more the public should stay calm.
  • The author wrote that in the future when the technology matures, there will be social, ethical and rule-of-law issues when it comes to constructing and governing the metaverse, which would come with great uncertainty. It’s like “licking the blood on the edge of a knife” for small and midsized investors to jump in and invest in the metaverse, the article said.
  • The article also argued that from the market’s perspective, it’s too early to pump up the value of a company based on its metaverse plan.
  • This is not the first time for Chinese state media to express concerns over the metaverse. Earlier this month, a commentary on People’s Daily said many have been eager to register trademarks that mentioned the metaverse even though they didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the new technology, but just wanted to get something out of the metaverse hype.
  • However, not all state media are skeptical about the metaverse. An article published Friday by the People’s Liberation Army Daily said the metaverse can offer an immersive media viewing experience and that if news reports can build a “battleground metaverse” to have the audience experience the harm and trauma, such content could in turn promote the public’s desire for peace, “amplifying the impact of media.”
  • Chinese companies — including tech giants such as search engine operator Baidu and video gaming company NetEase — are in a craze for trademark registrations related to the metaverse. Specifically, NetEase said on a third-quarter earnings call the company “will be one of the fastest runners in the metaverse space.”
  • Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent — the Chinese payments and social media giant that is also the world’s biggest video games vendor — said in the company’s third-quarter performance call this month that the metaverse is “very exciting, but a little bit vague,” and “an opportunity that really adds growth to the existing industries.” Ma’s comments add to recent speculations that Tencent will be betting big on the metaverse.

Ningwei Qin contributed to this report.