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Beijing’s Internet 3.0 white paper focuses on metaverse, a little web3, not crypto

metaverse internet3 china

The City of Beijing has published a report entitled the Beijing Internet 3.0 Innovation Development White Paper. Having read the report, we can confirm this paper does not indicate a move by China to embrace cryptocurrency. 

Web3 and particularly the concept of NFTs are covered, although only in passing. Instead, the focus is primarily on the metaverse evolving beyond entertainment to the stage where most internet activity is experienced in 3D virtual spaces and the applications apply to everyday life and business. This is what it calls ‘Internet 3.0’.

In this context, it explores what is needed to reach that stage. One is the integration of virtual and real worlds with digital twins. Another is providing open authoring tools and standards to empower creators. Next, it envisions economic activities such as “production, distribution, exchange, and consumption,” which it says will be interconnected with real world economic activities. 

The paper also explores the technical architecture necessary for the vision, which includes artificial intelligence, blockchain, special computing chips and communication networks such as 5G and 6G. For the record, Beijing is the home to Chang’An Chain, the domestically developed (permissioned) super blockchain for which customs chips have been designed. Unsurprisingly, this was the blockchain that received a mention.

Big brother metaverse style

One area that might give Westerners pause is the discussion of technologies needed for interaction. Beyond holograph images and VR headsets, it mentions brain-computer interfaces. If one has privacy concerns about mass facial scans in China, consider the potential for brain-computer interfaces.

The applications are at the top of the technology stack, with a long list of use cases outlined, from smart cities and industrial devices to simulated medicine, education and shopping.

Ultimately the paper recommends a strategy for Beijing to play an important role. This includes tax breaks and advancing research into some of the technologies within Beijing, as it has done with blockchain. Additionally, it will get involved in developing applications and building an ecosystem.

On the one hand, ecosystem development includes funding and training, but in Chinese style, it also encompasses ‘content supervision’ as well as data security, privacy and identity.

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