BAT “slaughter version” Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

Unexpectedly, BAT’s Metaverse territory is already so big.

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

Now whether you are attending an event or listening to a lecture, the first sentence of everyone’s meeting is “Hi, have you (heard) Meta Universe today?”, Meta Universe has become one of the must-talk topics for people in the technology and investment circles. . 

At present, the mainstream view in the industry believes that Metaverse is synonymous with the next generation of the Internet at this stage. From the original simple web browsing, and now around the micro letter , microblogging and other social software as an information entry, or even that there is a Alipay new payment method like this, always updated iteration of the Internet to bring unexpected impact. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲The meta-universe concept displayed by Meta Company (formerly Facbook)

In China, in every technological change of the Internet , the three traditional Internet giants , Baidu , Alibaba , and Tencent , are among the important promoters. But now, they not only need to continue to compete for the market and retain users at this stage, but also to deploy the next-generation Internet as early as possible to avoid being left behind. 

Zhixi found that through incomplete statistics, Tencent has invested in at least 67 game companies within 10 months of this year, and it may be integrated into the meta universe in the form of “games + social”; Alibaba has also gradually adopted the newly established XR laboratory. Realize the four-stage layout of Meta Universe; Baidu has invested a lot of manpower in VR early on to develop Baidu’s Greek virtual platform. 

According to Bloomberg industry research, the market size of Metaverse-related businesses will reach 800 billion U.S. dollars in 2024, and it will rapidly expand to 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2030, almost doubling in six years. BAT may not be among the few players with the loudest shouting “Meta Universe” slogans, but they must be the representatives of potential giant players with the earliest layout, the deepest penetration, and the broadest business scope, especially in the past few months. , We can see that BAT is frequently shooting “Meta Universe”. 

Now that Baidu, Ali, and Tencent have eaten up the dividends of the previous generations of Internet, how will they plan ahead for the next generation of Internet? They have been deeply involved in the Internet field for many years. What advantages do they have in terms of layout of the meta-universe? After in-depth exploration of relevant information, we saw the business logic and ecology behind the meta-universe layout of BAT players. 

01. How to embrace the meta universe? BAT quietly focuses on games, smart hardware and other fields

Faced with the big wave of the entire industry , the BAT players who started with the Internet look calmer, but after collecting their investment information in the field of smart hardware, games and other related fields of the universe for the past year, I found that these companies have already Started to recruit troops and lay out their own meta-universe. 

1. 10 months of continuous investment in 67 game companies, Tencent has invested heavily in creating a “game meta-universe”

The game is considered one of the “entry” mode yuan of the universe, because it comes with its own virtual scene and virtual human was the image of the prototype rather yuan universe. According to the incomplete statistics of Zhixishi, as of October this year, Tencent has directly or indirectly invested in as many as 67 game companies, with an average of 4.5 days investing in a game company. At present, the highest investment amount is that Tencent invested 520 million US dollars in Roblox Corporation in January this year, about 3.5 billion yuan. 

From the current information, Tencent has been involved in mobile games, mobile games and VR games, and has also participated in investing in some companies related to game content, game platform construction and technology development. 

Not only that, there is also Tencent among major foreign game companies, and Tencent has already participated in many foreign game companies before the “meta universe” wave started. In 2020, Tencent participated in the “Meta Universe First Share” Roblox’s G round of financing, and won the exclusive Chinese agent quota. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲Scenes in Roblox game

In addition, Tencent has also invested in a 40% stake in Epic at a price of 330 million U.S. dollars. In addition, Tencent invested in Wave, a virtual concert operator, and Original Force, a VR film company. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲Wave, a virtual music platform

In terms of domestic game ecology, Tencent not only invested in the “Chinese version of Roblox” code Qiankun at a price of nearly 100 million yuan, but also invested in the domestic VR game company Weimo Era . According to the company’s inquiry , on September 1st, Wemo Era completed the industrial and commercial changes, and Guangxi Tencent Venture Capital Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Tencent, became the second largest shareholder of Wemo Era, with a shareholding ratio of about 16%. 

Tencent has been deploying a wide range of games. On the one hand, the investment in the game industry itself has considerable room for appreciation. On the other hand, the game field can not only bring profit returns to the company at this stage, but also integrate with the future world. Seize the meta universe market. 

In addition to games, Tencent has not only built a complete ecosystem around WeChat, including e-commerce, games, payment, and life services, but also invested in a number of rich products related to live broadcast and e-sports around games. String. From this point of view, Tencent’s extensive industrial layout has given it a greater win in the next generation of the Internet. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲”Tencent Meta Universe” as understood by foreign analyst Not Boring

2. Ali: Participated in two rounds of financing for AR Unicorns, and built a VR hardware company by itself

Different from Tencent’s investment method of casting the net and Duolaoyu, according to recent data, Ali’s related investment layout is still centered on social networking, e-commerce and corporate services. 

Alibaba’s recent investment in the field directly linked to Metaverse may go back. In 2016, Alibaba participated in the C round and D round of AR unicorn Magic Leap. Among them, Magic Leap C round of financing was led by Alibaba Group, with an investment amount of US$793.5 million. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲Future scenarios shown by Magic Leap

Isn’t Ali not interested in the concept of “meta universe”? actually not. 

Recently, Tianyan Check showed that Alibaba Singapore Holdings Co., Ltd. applied for the registration of a number of trademarks such as “Ali Yuan Universe”, “Taobao Yuan Universe”, and ” Dingding Yuan Universe”. This means that Ali has gradually begun to see the development potential in this field. 

Not only that, according to the company’s investigation, on August 30, Alibaba established Hangzhou Shudian Technology Co., Ltd., which will deploy the VR equipment hardware field with a registered capital of 10 million yuan. The company’s business scope includes: information system integration services; Internet data services, information consulting services; virtual reality equipment manufacturing, etc. 

Moreover, Taobao launched the VR shopping Buy+ plan in 2016, and people can “visit the supermarket” and select products on their mobile phones. Judging from these developments, it seems that Ali is not interested in investing in other companies’ ways to deploy the meta-universe, and prefers to build a suitable meta-universe portal by himself. 

3. Baidu: Leveraging iQiyi to implement the hardware layout of Meta Universe

Compared with Ali and Tencent, Baidu is slightly low-key in terms of investment. According to the latest data from Enterprise Check, Baidu has invested in 7 companies related to smart hardware so far this year, involving smart homes and robots. The investment related to Metaverse may go back to 2017, when Baidu participated in the B round of financing of 8i, an American holographic technology company. 

However, Baidu’s attention to Metaverse has gradually increased recently. According to Tianyancha, Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. has applied for the registration of the “metaapp” trademark. The international classification involves website services and scientific instruments. 

At the same time it can not be ignored is that Baidu shares iQIYI company is also one of the important players in the domestic yuan universe. According to the listing documents submitted by iQiyi to the U.S. Stock Exchange in 2020, Baidu accounts for 56.1% of iQiyi’s total equity. 

Baidu has previously stated that it will build the world’s largest Chinese VR service through its media video service iQiyi. After iQiyi released its VR product head-mounted display Qiyu 3, Baidu will have a stable scene, product supplier and application environment. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

Judging from BAT’s recent investment actions, Tencent’s related investment is mainly concentrated in the game field, and it is still increasing its investment. Alibaba and Baidu have not made obvious major investments in recent years, but they have all been involved in related fields before. 

02. Create a technical “ammunition depot”! BAT sets up a laboratory to specialize in the meta universe

In line with Metaverse, Internet companies not only need to expand their business scope and increase their profitability, but also need to have an excellent research team and technology accumulation to make adequate preparations for stepping into the Metaverse in the future and not be left behind by other players. 

1. True Internet = Meta universe? Tencent F1 studio will create an open game world

Before the explosion of the meta-universe concept, Ma Huateng once proposed the concept of a true Internet. He said, “The door to the virtual world and the real world has been opened. Whether it is from the virtual to the real or from the real to the virtual, we are committed to helping users achieve a more real experience.” This also represents the current stage of Internet development. It has gradually matured, and the combination of virtuality and reality will become the main trend in the next stage. 

At the Techo Day of the Tencent Ecological Conference held on November 4, Tencent Chief Scientist, Tencent AI Lab and Robotics X Lab Director Zhang Zhengyou once again talked about this concept. It is not a digital twin, but the close integration of the real virtual world and the real world, that is, the integrated world of virtual and real, which requires 4 key technical points: virtual reality, virtual reality, holographic internet, and intelligent execution. 

Tencent’s Robotics X laboratory and F1 studio are involved in the business scope of Metaverse. Among them, the F1 studio mainly develops games for the next generation of Internet, that is, specializes in making games for the meta universe. 

Tencent game lead engine programmer Mao Xingyun October 21 in the know almost posted recruitment notices, the United States announced the establishment of Tencent day “F1 studio”, focused on the Class 3A original game development. 

He also stated in the announcement that “F” refers to Future, which seems to imply that the future created by F1 studio is facing the future world and preparing for entering the meta-universe. 

In addition, in April this year to adjust its organizational structure Tencent, Tencent video, micro view, the application treasure , Tencent sports and WeTV, integrating the formation of “online video BU (On-line Video Business Unit , OVB)”, attributable to its PCG (Tencent Platform and Content Division). 

This change will integrate its video content business, which not only makes its business direction more cohesive, but also integrates huge content resources. This is where the current shortcomings of the VR/AR industry in the content ecology lie. 

Tencent has adjusted its organizational framework 5 times in the 23 years since its establishment, corresponding to the five stages of Internet development. This time, Yao Xiaoguang, president of IEG Interactive Entertainment Property Group, is in charge of the two major departments of gaming and social networking, and may also be preparing for the arrival of the next generation of the Internet. 

2. To build a VR platform with all its strength, Baidu is going to Metaverse to continue its work?

Most of the development of Meta Universe is still concentrated in VR/AR and other fields, and Baidu has invested a lot of energy in VR/AR, not only Baidu AR Lab, VR Lab, but also derived from VR content platform and VR interactive platform Wait. Today, Baidu Brain, Baidu Smart Cloud, Baidu Maps, and search services will lay the technical foundation for the arrival of Metaverse and prepare for the “infrastructure” of Metaverse. 

In fact, Baidu has been in the VR industry for six or seven years, and it has also achieved many results. Among them, Baidu Smart Cloud can help VR equipment to improve rendering efficiency and enhance the quality of the picture; Baidu Xiyang platform has assisted in the establishment of the Baidu World Conference, the establishment of VR venues, DEF CON CHINA Party and other virtual platforms. 

Judging from Baidu’s existing products, Baidu’s VR experience platform may become an important product in the meta-universe territory. It can even be said to be Baidu’s “Meta-universe” basic version, which is also Baidu’s related technology integration in meta-universe. The results. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

At the end of this year, Baidu Hirong will soon launch the -6.0 version at the Baidu Developer Conference. Why the -6.0 version? Baidu Vice President Ma Jie explained, “For platforms like Greece, we think it will take at least 7 years to reach the ‘0.0’ version.” 

This aspect shows that building a real virtual platform requires a lot of labor and time costs, and it also vaguely reveals Baidu’s ambitions in the VR industry. 

3. Ali built the XR laboratory for Meta Universe, focusing on the four stages of the integration of the virtual and the real

In October of this year, Alibaba took advantage of this wave of meta-universe, backed by the Institute of Dharma Academy to establish the XR laboratory, and convened a team of experts including Li Honghua, Tan Xiong, and Shi Jiadong. 

This time, the XR laboratory is hosted by Tan Ping himself. This person is not only a big-time expert in 3D models and holographic technology, but also a former deputy dean of 360 Artificial Intelligence Research Institute. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲Tan Ping, head of Ali XR Lab

At Ali’s Yunqi Conference, Tan Ping said, “The various Internet applications we are familiar with today, such as social networking and e-commerce, will have new ways of presenting them in the metaverse.” 

He also talked about Ali’s layout in the meta-universe, which will mainly complete the transition from a real society to a society where reality and reality are integrated through the four stages of holographic construction, holographic simulation, virtual and real integration, and virtual and real linkage. 

Among them, holographic construction refers to the use of digital technologies such as VR/AR to “copy” a new world, which is what we call meta-universe, while allowing users to immerse themselves in the meta-universe world. For example, Ali’s current VR shopping and VR fitting rooms are related products at this stage. 

The virtual-real linkage mainly means that people can transform the real world by changing the virtual world. This may become one of the biggest surprises that the metaverse brings us. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲Future shopping scene displayed at the Yunqi Conference

“Meta Universe is the gray rhino of our time.” Tan Ping said that the arrival of Meta Universe will re-change the development of various industries like mobile terminals through changes in display and interactive technology. 

03. Opportunities and challenges coexist, how does BAT integrate into the meta universe?

Judging from the existing information, before the “meta universe” boom, BAT has already seen that the next generation of the Internet will involve the combination of virtual and real fields, and has begun to gradually adjust its business direction, starting with its own advantages. 

How will BAT integrate into the meta universe in the future? Baidu, Tencent, and Ali may represent three different transformation methods in the future. 

Let’s first look at Ali. Most of Ali’s current products are centered around its e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Tmall, and Alipay payment platforms. Both platforms have gathered a large number of user systems and content ecosystems for Ali. 

Both Taobao live broadcast and online stores are relatively open content systems. How can users be able to have strong creativity and output more attractive content in the next-generation Internet system. Just like the current users can open a store and open a live broadcast through a mobile phone, but in the Internet era dominated by “combination of virtual and real”, how to teach most users to use new tools to create new content to develop their own business? Become one of the problems that Ali must face to integrate into the meta-universe. 

BAT "slaughter version" Metaverse: heavy investment, recruiting troops, and large-scale hardware construction

▲Future shopping center displayed at the Yunqi Conference

For Tencent, the massive investment, R&D, and technology accumulation in games are also the “stepping stones” of Meta Universe. In addition, the 3A-level open world game that Tencent is about to develop is a free and open game world. With the continuous expansion of the game world, this world may gradually absorb finance, education and many other fields, thus gradually forming a “meta universe” . 

However, on this track, players such as Tencent not only face problems such as huge investment costs in the early stage, increased difficulty in later maintenance and updates, but also how to create a virtual game experience that satisfies users. This is what Tencent uses games as the “key”. “, a problem that players who connect to the meta-universe need to consider. 

The remaining way to connect with Meta Universe is that players with relevant hardware manufacturers such as Baidu and Byte build their own ecosystem based on their own hardware and through the supporting “Meta Universe” platform. Just like Apple’s iPhone, it is supported by excellent hardware products and introduced multi-party software products to gradually improve the entire “meta universe” layout. 

Players on these three tracks are focusing on the content social system, games, and hardware products, respectively, to work on the next generation of the Internet. But if they want to truly enter the meta-universe and become the leader of the next generation of Internet, they still need to solve the difficulties of production threshold and content update. 

04. Conclusion: Can BAT get the “ship ticket” of the next generation Internet?

At present, it seems that Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu are still focusing on their existing businesses, and their operation methods are still aimed at the current Internet development model. However, as the concept of Meta Universe is hot, BAT will gradually increase its layout in business related to Meta Universe in the second half of this year and make efforts for the next generation of the Internet. 

Here we are mainly discussing traditional Internet giants represented by BAT, but in fact, a new generation of Internet players represented by Byte are also gaining momentum. For the unknown space in the sci-fi world, some players on this track are taking advantage of the heat to bring more fresh blood to their company, and some players are quietly laying out the next generation of Internet, hoping to become the leader again with their heritage. sheep. 

For the construction of the next-generation Internet, Internet giants must be important players, but with the change of Internet technology, they may have more rising stars and seize market share, which may once again change the entire Internet landscape. 

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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