Shanghai’s Metaverse Home
News out of China confirms the establishment of The Joint Research Institute of Metaverse and Virtual-Real Interaction by a group of institutions and tech firms recently in Shanghai.
Jointly established by Fudan University, China Mobile’s Migu, Tencent Interactive Entertainment, Huawei, Epic Games and other institutions, Peking University, Renmin University, Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, and other well-known universities are the research co-construction units for the institute, which marks an important step in China’s academic research in the field of the metaverse and Web3, after a joint innovation centre for the Metaverse was established in Shanghai in early June.
Digital Transformation Experience
Zhao Xing, a professor at the Big Data Research Institute at Fudan University and the National Intelligent Evaluation and Governance Experimental Base, has been named the dean of the new institute. Zhao said that Shanghai has the experience of digital transformation and construction, and has the strong support of metaverse talent, technology, industry, urban environment, and consumption capacity — these constitute the core reasons for why the institute is located in Shanghai.
The news comes just a few weeks after Hong Kong University of Science and Technology announced it was opening the world’s first twin campuses in the Metaverse in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, respectively. Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Xiamen are other cities which have launched their own metaverse initiatives.
After China issued its “14th Five-Year Plan for Digital Economy Development” in January of 2021, the country implemented new digital formats, these include the Metaverse, as Beijing sees it as an important technological sphere.
In July, Shanghai took the lead in releasing an action plan for cultivating the metaverse throughout the next three years. According to the plan, by 2025, the scale of metaverse-related industries in Shanghai will reach 350 billion yuan ($51 billion), which will drive the scale of the software and information services industry to exceed 1.5 trillion yuan and the scale of the electronic information manufacturing industry to exceed 550 billion yuan.