The Chinese Baidu unveils its metaverse platform

Although the metaverse market is still emerging, it already weighed nearly $ 500 billion by 2020 and should reach $ 800 billion by 2024. In this sector, Chinese Baidu is in competition with other giants such as Tencent and Facebook.

The metaverse never ceases to whet the appetite of digital giants. And if Facebook is by far the company that occupies the most media space in this sector, which is still in its infancy, other players are joining the fight. This is the case with the Chinese group Baidu, which on Monday presented Xi Rang (“Land of Hope”), a parallel virtual universe, which is one of the very first global metaverse applications. This is the first such platform in China.

This new virtual world was unveiled to the general public by Baidu, considered “Chinese Google”, during its “Create 2021” conference, which was also organized within this metaverse. The boss of the Chinese giant, Robin Li, thus appeared in a virtual stadium in front of grandstands filled with avatars.

In addition to its role as a virtual platform for Robin Li’s lectures, the Xi Rang meta-verse allows its users to interact with other people evolving in this 3D world. In a freely explored virtual environment, users can visit the Shaolin Temple, go to an exhibition or take a dip in the pool. Games, entertainment, culture, education, shopping and advertising are all possible uses of this parallel universe.

Another six years of minimum development

To access this metaverse, users must be equipped with a smartphone, computer or virtual reality headset. But despite the technological advances of recent years, the work remains enormous to offer a successful, high-quality virtual experience to users. Many technical obstacles must therefore be overcome in order to offer fluid and ergonomic navigation in this parallel world, which is destined to become a true digital study of the physical world. In this sense, Baidu specified that it would take at least six more years before its platform is fully operational.

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If the metaverse market is still emerging, it already weighed nearly $ 500 billion by 2020 and should reach $ 800 billion by 2024, according to Bloomberg. Closely linked to the meta-verse, the broad public virtual reality market should largely surf on the enthusiasm aroused by this news, which promises to blur the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds. In this context, the consumer virtual reality market should rise to $ 16 billion in 2026 compared to $ 6.4 billion in 2021, according to Omdia. Also in 2026, 70 million virtual reality headsets are expected to be used by consumers worldwide, compared to 26 million by the end of this year.

Duel is already underway between US and Chinese technology giants

Faced with the potential of the sector, other Chinese giants are positioning themselves, such as Tencent, which largely intends to rely on its expertise in video games to build its metaverse. Alibaba has also begun to position its pawns, with the registration of several brands with very evocative names, such as “Ali Metaverse”, “Taobao Metaverse” and “DingDing Metaverse”.

In the West, Facebook seems to be at the forefront for now, with a corporate strategy focused on the meta-verse, as evidenced by its name change to Meta to reflect this shift. Determined to be at the forefront of this booming market, Menlo Park has announced the creation of 10,000 jobs in Europe over the next five years and the granting of a $ 10 billion budget for the year alone. 2021 to build this metaverse.

Mark Zuckerberg has set himself the goal of welcoming one billion people to the meta-verse by the end of the current decade, at which point this parallel world, considered the “future of the Internet,” could become profitable, according to the head of social affairs. media giant. Once again, the American and Asian giants seem well on their way to winning the day. Apart from a coup d’etat of a European company, the old continent still risks becoming famous in terms of regulation, in the absence of innovation.

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