A timeline on how Shanghai plans to achieve its vision is yet to be released
The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology has identified the use of metaverse as one of its four frontiers of exploration in the city’s five-year plan for the development of the electronic information industry.
The inclusion of metaverse not only shows that China’s biggest city is serious about innovation in that space but also speaks to the mass attention metaverse has drawn in the past year for its potential to create the next generation of the internet.
Metaverse is expected to extend human interactions in the real world to a virtual world with three-dimensional avatars.
Shanghai’s report marked the first mention of the metaverse in an official provincial Chinese development plan, local media reported.
Such five-year development plans are issued by most Chinese government departments and local authorities to indicate how they plan on implementing the vision presented in the central government’s five-year plan.
The document stated that Shanghai plans to increase research of technologies underlying metaverse including blockchain in order to facilitate its use in daily life.
It called for “encouraging the application of the metaverse in areas such as public services, business offices, social entertainment, industrial manufacturing, production safety and electronic games,” according to CNBC’s translation of the Chinese text.
However, the Shanghai Municipal Commission did not outline specific goals or timelines for the advancement of metaverse-related research and development.
In March 2021, China’s State Council mentioned blockchain for the first time in the country’s 14th five-year plan outlining China’s economic goals for the next five years from 2021 to 2025. The development plan exhibited a special focus on self-reliance in science and technology.
China has continued to be one of the first countries to show unwavering interest in emerging technologies, especially with regards to establishing its own central bank digital currency, the Digital Yuan.