If the hottest vocabulary of 2021 is to be selected, “Metaverse” will not let it take the lead.
This vocabulary was born in a novel published in 1992, after being blessed by Zuckerberg, it blew a new vent, and the heat spread all over the world.
But everyone still has a consensus: the “Metaverse” is still in its infancy and chaos. Perhaps it is also because the standards of the Metaverse have yet to be determined. Anyone or organization can provide an explanation. Based on their resources and endowments, the various technology giants will consider their own layout advantages and seize the opportunity of the Metaverse.
Conquering the city, Internet giants have ended up
For new hotspots, Tencent has always had a keen sense of smell.
Last year, Ma Huateng mentioned in Tencent’s internal publications, “An exciting opportunity is coming. The ten-year development of the mobile Internet is about to usher in the next wave of upgrades, which we call the True Internet.”
At that time, many people still couldn’t understand what the True Internet was. At the 2021 Tencent Digital Ecology Conference a year later, Tencent elaborated on the “True Internet” for the first time. Qiu Yuepeng, vice president of Tencent, COO of the cloud and smart industry business group, and president of Tencent Cloud, said that with the development of consumer Internet and industrial Internet, a truly interconnected era of online and offline integration, digital technology and real world integration is accelerating. . It can be concluded that the True Internet described by Ma Huateng is similar to the Metaverse and may be a higher-level Metaverse.
Regarding the layout and influence of Metaverse, Tencent Holdings executives stated at the third quarter 2021 performance meeting that Metaverse includes multiple development channels. Tencent pursues software-driven development, such as creating more interactive games, which is a good one. Entrance, it will bring added value to existing social networks, and Tencent also regards it as an industry growth engine.
In addition to games, Tencent also owns QQ and WeChat , dominating the social and gaming giants, and is also strong in mobile payment, cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence and other technologies. In terms of foreign investment, Tencent has invested in AR, Metaverse games and other fields since a few years ago. For example, Metaverse’s first stock Roblox, Tencent participated in its G round of financing in early 2020. Entering this year, QQ Music has also launched an immersive virtual concert in cooperation with Roblox, exploring exclusive special effects, fireworks, virtual gifts, 3D scene music games, etc.
Station B and NetEase also showed their confidence in the layout of the Metaversein the two days of conference call.
On November 17, Bilibili announced the third quarter of 2021 financial report, with revenue of 5.21 billion yuan and average monthly active users of 267 million. In the conference call after the release of the financial report, Chen Rui also expressed relevant attitudes towards “Metaverse”.
Regarding the concept of meta universe, Chen Rui believes that it contains some elements of products, and some companies, including Station B, have realized some of these elements. He believes that “if we only start to deploy or enter the meta-universe now, it is too late. Because the various elements contained in the meta-universe need to be built for a long time before that.”
This statement can interpret Chen Rui’s attitude, that is, companies with relevant backgrounds, whether it is a social system foundation or a content ecological foundation, can get a share of the world of the meta universe. Station B happens to be engaged in building a “self-circulating content ecology”. Chen Rui’s original words said that “no company has such content production capacity. There must be a large group of people in-depth creating content and making profits. This is the philosophy that the ecology of Station B has always been adhering to.”
Chen Rui used the virtual anchor of station B as an example, “Our UP host can become another character in another world through motion capture technology, and these characters can sing, dance, act, and talk jokes. These virtual characters perform. The content of will be supported and loved by many users. This is an example of the ecology in the system.”
The world’s hundreds of millions of dollars to make the universe described the group linger in this world, it is a definite need creators even bigger than the number of B station creator, creation of eco-establish a self-loop. However, Chen Rui also believes that Metaverse is still a long-term goal.
Compared with station B, NetEase has a greater range of actions in the “meta universe”.
Since the beginning of this year, NetEase has invested as many as 6 in virtual digital human-related tracks, including Genies, a virtual image technology company, Imvu, a virtual social platform, Maestro, an American live broadcast company that creates virtual interactive concerts, and Beijing, the parent company of ” Microsoft XiaoIce” Hongmian Xiaobing Technology Co., Ltd. etc.
One of them was an investment in the next-generation culture of the ” virtual human ” ecological company, amounting to nearly 10 million U.S. dollars. This invested company has created well-known virtual digital people such as the super-realistic virtual person Ling, the avatar of Di Ali Reba “Di Li Lengba”, the avatar of Huang Zitao “Tosman”, the virtual spokesperson of Huaxizi, Huaxizi, etc., since last year Since October, 3 rounds of financing have been completed. In addition to NetEase, shareholders include Shunwei Capital, Creation Partners, and Dynamic Capital.
In the VR track, NetEase also has a conscious layout and has successively invested in a number of companies related to VR technology, such as VR streaming company NextVR, and VR equipment manufacturer AxonVR.
In addition to investment actions, Netease Fuxi’s immersive conference system “Yaotai” is also generally considered to be very similar to the prototype of the meta universe. At the same time, NetEase has successively applied for registration of multiple trademarks such as “NetEase Yuan Universe” and “Lei Huo Yuan Universe”. The international classification involves advertising sales, education and entertainment, and website services.
At present, the game company is the closest to Meta Universe. NetEase is the second largest domestic game manufacturer. CEO Ding Lei also stated in the third quarter earnings call that NetEase has all the relevant technologies and rules of Meta Universe. Be prepared. “We believe that NetEase may run faster than anyone else on the day when the meta universe really comes.”
ByteDance competes in the meta-universe. It doesn’t make much movement, but it is very “big-handed”.
In April of this year, BYTE invested in the Chinese version of “Roblox”-Code Qiankun , with an amount of about 100 million yuan. Code Qiankun was established in 2018. It is a game UGC (User Generated Content) platform. Its representative work is the meta universe game “Restart the World”.
In August, it was reported that Zhang Yiming invested 1.5 billion U.S. dollars (approximately 9.6 billion yuan) to acquire the VR software and hardware R&D manufacturer “Pico”. Since its establishment, the latter has sold about 500,000 products. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Pico occupies 57.8% of the domestic VR market.
China Securities Investment said in a report that the acquisition of PICO by ByteDance can be compared to Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus for US$2 billion in 2014. It is a combination of a mobile Internet giant and a new generation of hardware product companies.
To seize the Internet 3.0, the growth anxiety of giants
The concept of meta-universe originated from the science fiction novel “Avalanche”, which depicts a networked world parallel to the real world.
The mobile Internet traffic dividend is peaking, users are tired of the existing experience, immersive, virtual interaction…Every word hits the pain point of the technology giants.
“The main bottleneck of the current Internet industry is the involuted platform form.” It was pointed out in the “Meta Universe Development Research Report 2020-2021”. Companies who have tasted the dividends of Internet development, no one wants to miss the meta-universe that is considered to be the next-generation Internet.
However, although everyone is racing to chase this track, everyone still has a consensus that Metaverse still needs a long time to develop, and it will definitely not be built and run by a single company. Zuckerberg believes that “Meta Universe is a vision that spans many companies and covers the entire industry. It can be regarded as an upgraded version of the mobile Internet that allows people to participate in the Internet more naturally.”
For these technology giants, they all have the ability to build part of the meta universe, or have products to enter the meta universe, hoping to further enlarge the current foundation and snatch the ticket to the meta universe.
The two giants of social and gaming, Tencent, has a B site of content + users + community. NetEase is the second largest game company in China. ByteDance has huge user resources. Naturally, they think they have the ability and should be Internet 3.0. Times layout.
Taking station B as an example, according to the latest quarterly financial report of station B, its active content creators reached 2.7 million, a year-on-year increase of 61%. The number of video submissions has also increased. The average monthly video submissions in Q3 reached 11 million, an increase of 80% year-on-year, and the average monthly active users reached 267 million. And this batch of active users, a large proportion of the key group of entertainment consumption-young people-under the age of 35 Z+ generation (born between 1985-2009) accounted for 86%. At the same time, station B is also the base camp of virtual anchors. In the past year, more than 60% of the world’s well-known virtual anchors started broadcasting at station B. “Users, content, and community” are exactly the entrances where Station B believes it is the closest to the meta-universe concept.
Regarding the layout and investment of the above-mentioned giants, some media consulted relevant analysts and believed that Internet platform companies, such as Tencent, with rich experience in game content, may be more in the meta universe than ByteDance, which lacks game content experience. Take the lead; for VR equipment and hardware companies, “heavy” is the only way out. “Small troubles” that rely on mobile phone support or lightweight devices have no future; while pure game companies, such as NetEase , Even the first-line open-world game makers in Europe and the United States have great opportunities, even though they are still on the sidelines.
“Meta Universe” cools down, let the bullet fly for a while
Although the tech giants are in a hurry, the meta-universe controversy still exists.
In the domestic A-share market, since October, many meta-universal stocks have risen sharply. The stock prices of Zhongqingbao , Jiachuang Video , Chinese Online , Baotong Technology , and Shengtian Network have risen by more than 50%, which has aroused the attention of regulators. The Shanghai Stock Exchange or the Shenzhen Stock Exchange have issued supervision letters and letters of concern to many companies such as Tianxia Show, Zhongqingbao, Shengtian Network, Yishang Show, Dafu Technology, etc., requesting clarification whether they are in the “Meta Universe” hot spot.
Among them, Tianxiaxiu was warned by regulatory authorities due to false or seriously misleading information disclosure, Shengtian Network was issued a letter of concern by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange due to the relevance of the company’s business and Meta Universe, and Zhongqingbao received the Shenzhen Stock Exchange due to non-operating occupation of the company’s funds. Issue a supervisory letter.
Immediately, the meta-universe sector, which had been rising for many days, ushered in a drop in temperature. Especially the voice of the People’s Daily , poured cold water on the concept of meta universe. The official account said that the popularity of the meta-universe concept is whether it is a capital hype or a new track, a new bottle of old wine or a new technological breakthrough. It is better to “let the bullet fly for a while” before drawing conclusions. On the day of the publication of this article, the A-share meta-universe concept board plummeted.
At the moment when the “investment circle has been suffering for a long time”, the meta universe, which is still in the chaotic period, has indeed been given excessive attention.
It can be said that the Internet giants are on the background of peaking growth, adding the business opportunities and growth potential behind the code yuan universe. At the same time, making a fuss on this hot spot is also a good marketing action.