When we talk about the metaverse today, it is mostly from the Western perspective. However, it is worth taking a look at the Asian metaverse(s).
The Asian Century
First of all, it must be said that there will not be THE Asian metaverse. Just as there will not be a single Western one. Rather, we will see a fragmented landscape in the near future, which will boil down to a few industry-specific metaverses in the distant future due to the network effect.
In this context, you have to imagine everything one or two sizes bigger in Asia.
Asia is a huge continent, from Turkey in the west to Japan in the east we are talking about more than 4 billion people. These people have the most diverse cultures and live in countries with very different stages of technological development.
In the masterpiece The Future is Asian, Parag Khanna takes a close look at the continent and prophesies that nothing will pass Asian in the future.
It is therefore all the more important to look to Asia in the context of the Metaverse as well.
The Asian Metaverse: Examples
I had already hinted at it, but THE Asian metaverse will not exist. We are talking about too many cultures and countries, some of which are politically hostile to each other.
Just as in the “Western world”, there are currently many players who are in strong competition both nationally and internationally. So let’s now take a look at exciting examples and players across the board.
As I show in this article, game makers, as masters of 3D worlds, will have a good say when it comes to the metaverse. In this context Singapore’s Sea is an interesting player.
Sea Limited has its roots in gaming, but is also diversifying into e-commerce. It was recently announced that Sea is investing in startup Refract, which plans to develop an AI-based full-body motion-capture wearable called AXIS. Interesting hardware for the Metaverse.
Furthermore, China’s Tencent (see next chapter) also had a large stake in Singaporean tech company Sea until earlier this year.
Tencent, as mentioned above, is a Chinese tech giant that is heavily involved in the video game industry. Among other things, Tencent is considered the world’s largest video game producer.
But Tencent also has plans for the metaverse and recently secured a hardware manufacturer for virtual reality with the acquisition of the startup BlackShark.
By the way, in Mandarin in China they say yuan yuzhou to the metaverse. A real patent and trademark battle has been raging over this term in recent weeks. As the South China Morning Post reported, even the central government felt compelled to intervene.
Speaking of intervening. The influence of the central government will play a very important role in the development of the yuan yuzhou.
This is already evident today, not least in the comprehensive regulation of computer games.
I reported earlier in the week that South Korea’s Samsung had moved its flagship store to the Decentraland Metaverse. Take a look:
Samsung also wants to profit from the NFT wave, which has spilled over to South Korea in a big way. For this purpose, Samsung has developed an “NFT Aggregation Platform” for its smart TVs enabling the purchasing of NFTs via the TV.
India is the IT hub of the world. And local industry leaders like Tata, Infosys, HCL and Wipro are also looking to capitalize on the next wave of the Internet.
And Mark Zuckerberg also said that India, with its huge developer base, will play a crucial role in building the Metaverse.
India itself, however, has the problem that while it is a service provider in demand, it is not a high-tech country. Rather an emerging market.
However, the metaverse is clearly aimed at highly developed industrial nations with the corresponding prerequisites in terms of infrastructure and budget.
Nevertheless, Indians are also already gathering their own metaverse experiences, as shown by the first Indian metaverse wedding or concerts performed. Both, by the way, motivated by the COVID19 pandemic.
From Japan comes an example from a time when we didn’t even talk about the term Metaverse.
Keiichi Matsuda of Japan created the following AR concept study during his master’s thesis. I think it’s technically very well done and invites discussion.
More can be found on Youtube under the keyword Hyper Reality. According to Matsuda Hyper-Reality presents a provocative vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media. Sounds a lot like metaverse gone wrong to me.
This article certainly provides just a glimpse. But I think one thing is already clear. Even in the metaverse, there is no way around Asia.
It will be exciting to see where the development proceeds fastest. Some experts think in China, despite or even because of regulation.
What is your key takeaway? Let me know here or on Twitter.
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Image Source: Pixabay, Pixabay License