China launches its first Metaverse Lab

Beware, metaverse think tanks – China has created some competition. Tsinghua University, a top Chinese university in Beijing, has opened the country’s first metaverse lab in partnership with Communications and Chinese Online (COL). The Lab will have several functions, including research into:

  • The future of media technology
  • Metaverse culture and creativity
  • Other metaverse fields

In a statement, Tsinghua University said the lab hopes to “play a role in scientific research”, explore deep-seated problems believed to be related to the metaverse, and “form leading ideas.”

The university has a history of such metaverse research. Last year it pioneered the first Metaverse Robot System, which aims to explore the link between the virtual and physical worlds. The move came as more Chinese tech companies became interested in the metaverse.

The announcement of the metaverse lab happened with many anchors hosting the event virtually. Xiang Botao, deputy secretary of the university’s party committee, and Tong Zhilei, chairman of the Chinese Online Group, personally led the event.

China has been on an uptrend with Web3

While the metaverse lab is certainly bullish news for China’s Web3 outlook, the country has had a rough patch over the past two years with aspects of Web3.

On the one hand, it has continued its ban on cryptocurrencies, enforcement of which has led Chinese cryptocurrency miners to flee to countries with more relaxed rules. But on the other hand, it has embraced lukewarm non-perishable tokens, even creating a state-sponsored collection for the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

According to some sources, the country is planning to take some form of a metaverse. This adoption is in line with Tsinghua University’s metaverse lab and the university’s previous research. Whether the Chinese metaverse will be an open metaverse or a walled garden remains to be seen.

China’s relaxed stance on non-fungible tokens and the metaverse is coming as more Chinese companies dabble in Web3 — or see it as the future. As Rarity Sniper recently reported, the Chinese telecom company ZTE has trademarked many English expressions for metaverse use. Xpeng, an automaker in the country, launched an NFT collection on Alibaba’s NFT marketplace Jingtan.

With the country poised to develop Web3 technologies and even launch an NFT sector separated from cryptocurrencies, it will be interesting to see what the future holds. We are monitoring the country’s Web3 plans for further developments.

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