Tech

Beijing to build Communist training college in a metaverse

China’s top government officials have a new space to meet and “build the [Chinese Communist] Party”: a custom-built metaverse.

According to one of the bespoke metaverse’s technology providers, virtual reality firm Mengke VR, the system will host virtual events like meetings, conferences, courses and history lectures. 3D avatars will be able to roam exhibits and observe cultural relics.

The available metaverse courses have titles like “A Hundred Years of Stories – Party History Micro Classroom” and “The Great New Era – Major Achievements of the Party and the Country Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China”.

The Reg appreciates that the latter sounds utterly irresistible, but in case you want more there’s also “The Code of Leadership of the Communist Party of China” or “Chinese Spirit – The Spiritual Genealogy of Chinese Communists” to consider. An embarrassment of riches.

Chinese media – all of which operates in the knowledge that the State will frown on unwelcome content – reports that the system apparently improves upon virtual reality through increased interaction of avatars, including with each other, and connection of locations. Furthermore, the VR firm said the metaverse improves on the engagement level of the content – even going as far as to call traditional VR content “boring”.

All this fresh content can be accessed, as the firm points out, without travel and time costs.

China has achieved strong VR adoption and its government has even invested in VR theme parks.

Now both Beijing and China’s big tech companies are investing in the metaverse. Companies like Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance all have plans in progress – in a market Morgan Stanley predicts could be worth around $8 trillion.

Beijing has, however, recently cracked down content such as video games, frothy fan clubs, depictions of the kind of young men you’d expect to be members of boy bands, and live-streamed infomercials.

That recent record suggests metaverses won’t be exempt from Beijing’s scrutiny – including this new effort to that puts the Party line front and center. ®


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