The metaverse could contribute between S$0.8tn and $1.4tn per year to Asia’s GDP by 2035 if investments in the technology are sustained in the next five to 10 years.
The awareness of the metaverse in Asia is high, and early metaverse platforms are already being used by millions of people in the region for gaming, socialising, creating digital twins, attending concerts and purchasing items.
For example, the South Korean app, Zepeto, has more than 300 million registered users worldwide. However, a fully immersive metaverse with smooth real-time rendering of visually rich worlds for millions of simultaneous users is still years away.
The metaverse will have a transformational impact on Asian economies, but whether it will realise its full potential will depend on a wide set of socioeconomic factors and enablers that will vary across markets.
Asia is an interesting region to watch for metaverse developments. It dominates the hardware supply chain, and countries like South Korea have already developed a blueprint to foster its metaverse industry.
On the regulatory front, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and others are creating positive business environments and instituting clear regulatory guardrails, ensuring businesses and consumers alike can safely engage with the metaverse.
The largest economies in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are also pioneering new business models, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises and innovating with Web 3 and blockchain technology.