Tencent says Beijing likely to support metaverse – as long as it obeys China rules

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SHANGHAI, Nov 11 (Businesshala) – Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) hopes Beijing will allow ‘Metaverse’ virtual environment services, now a talk of Silicon Valley, to operate in China – provided they meet Chinese regulations. be in line with. ,

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In its first public comments on the Metaverse, China’s largest company by market value, Tencent, welcomed the potential for gaming business opportunities in Wednesday’s post-earnings call, but acknowledged that China’s version of the Metaverse is different. will need to be. the rest of the world.

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“There are a lot of technologies that are related to game development as well as the Metaverse,” Tencent president Martin Lau told analysts on a call with questions about the Metaverse.

Investors have been eyeing the potential of the virtual reality world since Facebook (FB.O) CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he would change his name to Meta Platforms Inc. Dedicated to the future of the company. ,

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Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Disney (DIS.N) have also said they are working on their own metaverses as well.

“The Chinese government will remain supportive of the development of such technologies as long as the user experience is actually provided within the regulatory framework,” Tencent’s Lau said.

Amid the Metaverse excitement, questions have been raised among tech investors about how it might develop in China, where the Internet is strictly censored and executives have since last year slammed Tencent against its once free-wheeling giants. Extensive action has been taken.

Regulators have banned all crypto transactions, closely monitored the gaming industry and also warned against “blind” investments in Metaverse-linked stocks.

Lau said that although China and the world would have different sets of rules relating to the Metaverse, it was “fundamentally not against the development of the Metaverse”.

Tencent, the world’s largest online gaming firm by revenue, is leading the charge in China over the virtual world concept, which has also attracted the interest of rivals such as NetEase and TikTok owner ByteDance, according to data firm Newzoo. .

Lau said there were “many avenues” for the Metaverse opportunity, such as through interactive games or social networks serving as ‘gamefields’.

“We have a lot of technology and capability building blocks that will allow us to access the Metaverse opportunity,” he said.

Tencent owns a 40% stake in Epic Games and has a joint venture with Roblox Corp (RBLX.N), both of which are working on their respective metaverses.

The company, whose business also includes China’s leading social networking and messaging app WeChat, has registered more than 20 Metaverse-related trademarks for its apps in China and is working on more immersive, multi-player games.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Mieong Kim and Kenneth Maxwell

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