Who will be the first city in the Metaverse?

  ■ Column

  The Metaverse has been written into the "14th Five-Year Plan" industrial plan by some places.

  Recently, Microsoft's $68.7 billion all-cash acquisition of Activision Blizzard has once again brought the Metaverse into focus.

It is understood that in China, in addition to Internet companies deploying the metaverse, some cities have also quietly started wrestling and contesting in the metaverse.

According to PWC data, the market size of the Metaverse is expected to reach US$467.4 billion in 2025.

With the spiral iteration of technology and products, the development of each link will bring about the expansion of the overall market size, and the future growth potential is worth looking forward to.

  running in

  Previously, the governments of developed countries such as Japan and South Korea have successively issued detailed implementation rules for the construction of the Metaverse, with the intention of establishing a leading edge on the Metaverse track and seizing the commanding heights of the digital economy competition.

In July last year, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan released the "Investigation Report on the Future Possibilities and Issues of the Virtual Space Industry", summarizing the urgent problems that the Japanese virtual space industry needs to solve in order to occupy a dominant position in the global virtual space industry.

In the 2022 budget, the Ministry of Finance of South Korea also plans to spend 20 million US dollars to develop the metaverse platform, and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Information and Communications of South Korea initiated the establishment of the "Metaverse Alliance".

  Some local governments in my country have also entered the Metaverse track in different ways.

As early as last November, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Economy and Information Technology organized a symposium on the development of the "Metaverse" industry.

At the end of December, Hangzhou announced the establishment of the Metaverse Special Committee.

The "Guiding Opinions on the Construction of Zhejiang Province's Future Industry Pilot Zone" issued later further clarified that the construction of artificial intelligence, blockchain, third-generation semiconductors, quantum information, aerospace integration, advanced equipment manufacturing, and metaverse fields will be built. Focus on the future industrial development system.

  Also at the end of last year, Shanghai released the "14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Shanghai's Electronic Information Industry", which mentioned that it is necessary to strengthen the forward-looking research and development of the underlying core technology and basic capabilities of Metaverse, and promote the development of new terminals and systems that deepen perception and interaction. The construction of virtual content and explore industry applications.

  If Zhejiang and Shanghai are the most eye-catching "running" moves, some cities at the beginning of the year even entered the game.

On January 5, the "Taihu Bay Science and Technology Innovation Belt Leading Area Metaverse Ecological Industry Development Plan" released by Binhu District of Wuxi City pointed out that it is necessary to focus on the integration of application leading and scene driving, and promote the in-depth application of Metaverse technology in multiple fields.

  On January 10th and 11th, Hefei and Wuhan held the National People's Congress successively, and at the same time, the Metaverse was written into the "Government Work Report".

In addition, Beijing stated that it will promote the formation of a new Metaverse innovation consortium and explore the construction of a Metaverse industrial cluster. Shenzhen has established a Metaverse Innovation Laboratory, which has successfully connected with users and technical teams from more than 26 countries at home and abroad.

  Keep an eye on industry opportunities

  Local governments develop Metaverse mostly from the perspective of industrial development.

As a new and important carrier for the innovation and development of the digital economy, Metaverse will be an important support for the development of the urban digital economy in the future.

The process of its development has a positive effect on the upgrading of the local economic structure.

Because the Metaverse is not an independent technology, in essence, the Metaverse is a process of virtualizing and digitizing the real world. The implementation of the Metaverse requires a larger-scale and more powerful AI infrastructure.

Including artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things, blockchain and other technologies or hardware products.

  Taking Shanghai as an example, the electronic information manufacturing industry, as the first of the six pillar industries in Shanghai, has always played a very important role in the process of Shanghai's economic development, and also plays a pivotal role in the development of the information industry in the Yangtze River Delta and even the whole country.

Last year, Shanghai released two three-year action plans for promoting new infrastructure construction and promoting the development of the online economy, planning to promote the construction of major projects in the fields of big data centers, artificial intelligence, industrial Internet, and 5G.

  In recent years, Wuhan and Hefei have also made outstanding progress in the development of digital economy and innovation, and they are both listed in the 18 national new-generation artificial intelligence innovation and development pilot zones approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

  $1.5 trillion market size

  According to PwC's forecast, the Metaverse market size will reach $1.5 trillion by 2030.

This means that the Metaverse is a market with a lot of room for imagination. Competing for the Metaverse track will bring a lot of room for imagination to the development of the city's digital economy.

  The "14th Five-Year Plan for Digital Economy Development" issued by the State Council not long ago shows that in 2020, the added value of my country's digital economy core industries will account for 7.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and the digital economy will provide sustainable and healthy economic and social development. a powerful driving force.

By 2025, the added value of the core industries of the digital economy will account for 10% of GDP.

  It is not difficult to understand why some cities in China with better development of the digital economy have deployed the metaverse in advance.

However, some experts pointed out that the development of the metaverse depends on the breakthrough of key technologies on the one hand, and new problems such as value ethics and virtual space management and control will also be encountered on the other hand.

This also poses new challenges to cities on the "wind".

  □Zha Zhiyuan, researcher of Beijing Think Tank