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Is China building the metaverse? – TechCrunch

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There is a heated debate on the state of the race between the United States and China to dominate in AI. But perhaps the more strategic question is whether China is building the metaverse.
Built upon infrastructural technologies like AI, the metaverse refers to the vast array of digital experiences and ecosystems, from e-commerce and entertainment to social media and work, where we spend more and more of our lives. It’s soon going to be hard to conceive of a world in which much of our social and economic lives are not defined by the rules of the metaverse. To the builder goes the opportunity to establish rules to their own benefit.
In truth, both the U.S. and China are trying to build and lay claim to the metaverse, with other actors such as Europe trying to do so as well, but they simply don’t control enough of the core technologies that make the metaverse possible.
These core technologies include AI, 5G, end-user devices and the sector-straddling super apps that bring everything together — and related technologies such as smartwatches and eyewear. Competence and dominance across these four criteria is what may give China an insurmountable head start over the U.S. in the race to build the future of the virtualized human experience.
The Chinese leadership understands that AI is revolutionizing virtually all aspects of social life, including consumption. AI is a top priority for government and business, and the Chinese government has called for China to achieve major new breakthroughs by 2025 and become the global leader in AI by 2030.

If the metaverse does become the successor to the internet, who builds it, and how, will be extremely important to the future of the economy and society as a whole.

The strategy was initially outlined in the Chinese government’s New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan in 2017. It has since spurred both new policies and billions of dollars of R&D investments from ministries, provincial governments and private companies.
As a result of China’s AI initiatives, the American advantage in the sector has been steadily eroding: In 2017 the U.S. had an 11x lead over China, but by 2019, that lead had come down to 7x. By 2020, the U.S. was left with a narrow lead of 6x. Even this lead has been uncertain, and the ex-chief software officer of the Pentagon went so far as to say that China already had an insurmountable lead in AI and machine learning.
Moreover, some question the American lead when it comes to the availability of training data. In the privacy versus public good debate, the U.S. tends to lean toward privacy, whereas China has long exercised government intervention in maintaining a civil society as a public good.
Finally, China has access to vast data sets to train AI, which presents a significant strategic advantage, especially considering the country’s population of 1.4 billion.
The capacity to build and ultimately become the preeminent force in the metaverse starts with China’s long-standing and unrivaled dominance of consumer device manufacturing. From smartphones and notebooks to AR and VR headsets, Chinese manufacturers are building the largest portion and widest varieties of the devices that consumers need to access digital platforms and social experiences. The most advanced design and production competencies are likely to already reside in cities like Shenzhen.

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Meta's losses show the metaverse's costly risk – Insider Intelligence

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Facebook parent Meta launches startup accelerator with India’s IT ministry in metaverse push – TechCrunch

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Meta Platforms is looking at India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem as it bolsters its bet on the metaverse. The social juggernaut has partnered with the Indian IT Ministry’s startup hub to launch an accelerator in the country to broaden innovation in emerging technologies, including augmented reality and virtual reality, officials said Tuesday.
MeitY Startup Hub and Meta’s effort, called XR Startup Program, will work with 40 early-stage startups and help them in research and development and developing workable products and services. Each startup will also receive a grant of over $25,000, the American giant said.
The program, supported by Meta’s $50 million XR Programs and Research Fund, will initially hand pick 80 startups to attend a bootcamp. It will also help startups with finding customers, inking relationships and raising funds, Meta said.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said the program is especially aimed at helping encourage technology innovation in smaller cities and towns.
The XR Startup Program is the latest of Meta’s growing participation in the South Asian market’s upskilling efforts. The firm, whose Facebook and WhatsApp services identify India as their largest market by users, partnered with Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in the country, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students and educators in the country.
The program — to be implemented by four Indian institutions, including IIT Delhi — will also host a “grand challenge” for innovation in categories including education, healthcare, entertainment, agritech, climate action, sustainability and tourism, the American giant said.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta, in a statement.
Meta’s interest with working with startups in India is also not newly found. The company has backed three startups in the country, including social commerce platform Meesho and online education group Unacademy.
3 views: Is the metaverse for work or play?

“India’s rapid tech adoption combined with a vast pool of tech talent puts the country in a vantage position for shaping the future of the internet,” said Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India, in a statement.
“For this future to be equitable, it will require active participation from all stakeholders, including developers, businesses, creators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. We are excited to collaborate with MeitY Startup Hub and hope that the XR Startup Program will act as a catalyst to unlock the use of immersive technology across sectors like education, healthcare, agritech and tourism, not only in India but across the globe.”

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WHAT IS QUILVIUS (QVUI)? LET'S EXPLORE THIS UPCOMING METAVERSE CRYPTO PROJECT – Asianet Newsable

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WHAT IS QUILVIUS (QVUI)? LET’S EXPLORE THIS UPCOMING METAVERSE CRYPTO PROJECT  Asianet Newsable
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