The Chinese government made an ambitious plan to boost the nation’s VR industry, and now it seems local tech companies are using the World Cup to test-run their products.
China-based technology companies are reportedly working on tech that would give Chinese soccer fans the ability to watch the FIFA World Cup within the metaverse.
The efforts are part of a five-year plan released by the Chinese government in early November to boost the capabilities and development of the local virtual reality (VR) industry.
Video streaming platform Migu is one of six Chinese firms that has secured the rights to show the World Cup and plans to create a “Metaverse-like” space accessed through VR headsets for users to watch a Livestream of the game.
ByteDance, who owns TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, received licensing rights to air the competition, with ByteDance’s VR headset subsidiary Pico offering live broadcasts of the World Cup, with the ability for users to create and hang out in digital rooms to watch the game together.
The World Cup is seemingly being used by China’s nascent VR industry as a testbed for the technology. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, along with four other agencies, pushed an ambitious industry plan on Nov. 1.
The five-year plan from 2022 until 2026 outlined that China wants to bolster its VR industry and ship over 25 million units to the tune of $48.56 billion, although the plan doesn’t clarify if its unit target is annually or cumulative over the life of the plan.
The stated plans don’t mention whether the metaverse will utilize blockchain technology, such as the one posed by the city of Wuhan, which was later revised to remove reference to the nonfungible tokens.