Text | Gu Lingyu, reporter from Caijing
Edit | Yu Le
The cafe downstairs of the Internet company hasn’t been so lively in a long time.
“You only need to spend 20 yuan to sit in a cafe in Zhongguancun for an afternoon, and you can hear more than 20 people talking about Metaverse.” Investor Coco said.
Since on October 30, Facebook changed its name to meta and announced that it would “all in” meta universe in the future, the market has plunged into a kind of madness: as of the close of November 17th, the Oriental Wealth Meta universe concept plate will take one month. The increase is close to 40%, and it has risen by close to 10% in the last week alone. This is still under the condition of frequent supervision.
Overnight, the big guys in the currency circle came, the venture capital circle seemed to be celebrating the holiday, and the technology giants were facing their bleak Q3 earnings report while talking about the “future in the meta universe” in a serious manner… from all walks of life. They are all moving by hearing the wind. It is said that the annual salary of robbing people has reached one million, and even the real estate that seems the most unavailable to virtualize has “Meta Universe Real Estate”.
Investors are still rushing in, but there are already “get rich first” people who are ready to retreat. On November 20, the A-share Meta Universe concept plate had a net sale of 3.653 billion yuan on that day. Earlier, shareholders and executives of Meta Universe concept stocks, including Zhongqingbao (300052.SZ) and Tom Cat (300459.SZ), showed signs of cashing out.
Statistics from the Economic Information Daily show that since September, 14 of the 77 stocks in the meta universe concept plate have issued plans to reduce their holdings by executives or actual controllers, and the total number of shares to be reduced is 357 million shares. So far, one company has completed its shareholding reduction, and 13 companies are still in progress.
It looks like this is another silly game-participants join when they know it is high-cost and high-risk, and hope that someone sillier will eventually pay the bill.
Can they succeed?
“A few years ago, those people in the currency circle are now thinking about the meta universe”
Li Mu, a blockchain practitioner, told me that if you feel familiar with the recent meta-universe boom, don’t doubt it-because even the people involved are likely to be the same group.
A few months ago, his friends in the currency circle began to speculate on NFTs (non-homogeneous tokens, generally referred to as virtual artworks in China) related to Metaverse. This act of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy an electronic picture sounds like a fantasy. Earlier, these people sold mining machines and opened mining farms. The lucky ones could realize the freedom of wealth only by buying and selling air coins.
There is no doubt that this may be the group of people who are the best at gambling and the most daring to gamble. Therefore, “Use ordinary people’s thinking about making money to infer them, and you will lose. Wherever the money comes, they will go. Where there are more bubbles, the easier it is to make money.”
In just the last month, Coco has participated in dozens of meta-universe seminars and read hundreds of relevant project plans. “Most projects are just piles of unclear words.”
Even Dr. Lin Lu, who lives in the ivory tower, has heard of this wave of unclear awareness. She did philosophical research. She thought that such a grand proposition must require philosophical support, but she did not. She asked in a technology group, “What stage has the metaverse developed now?” Everyone laughed.
“The deceptive stage.” Group friends said.
Similar craziness is also staged overseas. Because the game platform Roblox provides a set of game production software that allows players to develop and sell their works using tokens, it declares in the prospectus, “We are not a game company, we are a meta universe company.”
As a result, Roblox’s market value reached 45 billion U.S. dollars in one fell swoop, surpassing Xiaopeng Motors, which is on another vent.
IDC, an authoritative market research organization, has given a definition of “meta universe”, “an open virtual world that is parallel to the real world and can provide immersive experiences such as games, shopping, social interaction, and learning.” However, IDC also believes that the concept of meta universe is still at present. In the co-creation stage.
No one can say clearly what the “meta universe” is. This is a consensus; but this does not prevent people from using it to make money. This is also a consensus.
The secret is “not clear”.
Universal tricks: selling lessons, bringing goods and real estate speculation
Want to know what’s in the meta universe? no problem. In an era where everything can be trained, everyone is only a cup of tea to become an expert in the metaverse.
The Get APP founded by Luo Zhenyu launched the online course “Meta Universe 6 Lectures”. As of November 18th, more than 45,000 people have bought this course. Based on the original price of 29.9 yuan for a course, this course has sold for more than one million yuan.
It is worth mentioning that Chen Xu, the main lecturer of this course, is also a former “blockchain practitioner”. According to the page, he is also the founder of a “Zero Carbon Yuan Universe Think Tank” that has two outlets at the same time.
“The content is okay, but it’s a bit more expensive,” Kobayashi, a college student who bought the course, told me. However, Kobayashi still happily posted the incident of taking the metaverse online class on the social platform. When she knew that the course had sold millions of dollars, she thought it was “a great honor.”
Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle platform originally called “Yuan Universe”, has changed to “dimensional”. At present, searching for Metaverse on Xiaohongshu, there are more than 20,000 related notes.
In the past, the virtual idols labeled “cyberpunk” took advantage of the popularity of the meta-universe. They not only have similar names such as Imma, luna, Gina… made by 3D modeling. The face is even more similar than that made by a Korean hospital. Daily life is to go to coffee shops, play music, and walk the dog… It can be seen that even in the meta universe, people’s lives are not very different.
Therefore, the virtual person can bring goods.
Planting grass in the meta universe丨Source: Xiaohongshu @imma
A mysterious “meta universe fashion trend” appeared. Simply put, it is similar to the QQ show that we have all played, spending money to buy some virtual clothing, P on yourself, can be used to post on social platforms to fully satisfy vanity. However, these clothes are not as cheap as the QQ show.
A clothing brand called gravity the studio showed that their virtual clothing set costs hundreds of dollars. “This type of clothing does not actually exist, but appears digitally in social media photos.” The customer is buying the clothes. After uploading photos in accordance with the requirements of the official website, they will use more than three professional software to put their virtual clothes on the photos for users. This is not a lifetime service.
There is also a meta-universe fashion show where virtual people wear virtual clothes:
Yuan universe clothing show, sponsored by Xiaomi mobile phone丨Source: Xiaohongshu@JUDY
Even though the clothes are so expensive, even in the meta universe, the houses are still in short supply. According to the general idea, the real economy in the future will all move into the meta universe, and business can only be done if there is a good location.
Decentraland, a company built on the Ethereum blockchain, already has a relatively formed meta-universe world. It’s not cheap to buy land here. A piece of land called “The Key” in Decentraland was previously sold for $536,000.
The famous auction company Sotheby’s recently built its own virtual auction hall in Decentraland, and it is about to start auctioning virtual collections.
Even if there is no product, as long as you follow the right outlet, the market will pay. In September of this year, the popular new economic company Tianxia Show launched its own meta-universe platform “Rainbow Universe”. According to the official definition, this is a 3D virtual social product. The product uses the 3D virtual planet (P-LANET) in the Z era as the background to build virtual identities, avatars, virtual spaces, virtual props, etc. for users.
Tianxia Show announced that it will release 350,000 houses in this virtual world, which are divided into 13 types of rooms. The big difference can refer to Beijing from the inner ring to Yanjiao: the grades from high to low are divided into SSS, SS, S, A, and B. , The price ranges from 88 yuan to 8.8 yuan.
Buying a house in Rainbow Universe丨Source: Tianxia Show official
According to official sources, the number of user reservations has exceeded 50,000 on the first day of the online booking activity. And so far, more than 130,000 users have registered to snap up. Some scarce top 500 numbers and “lucky numbers” are constantly being fired up on second-hand trading platforms. Some users said that an island villa was fired to 530,000.
However, on November 18th, Tianxia Show published an open letter claiming that Rainbow Universe is still in the grayscale test stage. To put it bluntly, there is no product yet. Only by proposing ideas and constantly releasing news, Tianxia Show has relied on “selling a house” to collect millions of dollars. The greater power lies in the capital market. As soon as the news came out, the stock price of Tianxia Show also rose sharply, and the company’s market value increased by 4.8 billion yuan in two days.
Opportunity in the bubble
Is the meta universe a total bubble?
In essence, it’s not.
In 1992, Neal Stephenson, a geek living in Seattle, USA, in his novel “Avalanche” created a fictional three-dimensional digital space parallel to the real world-Metaverse. In 2009, when the book entered China, at that time, the term Metaverse was translated as “Super Yuanyu”-obviously not cool enough, so it did not become popular.
In the next ten years or so, the iteration of communications has given more opportunities for commercialization of technologies. However, as the growth momentum of the mobile Internet has gradually diminished, each segment of the high hopes has experienced rollercoaster-like ups and downs— —Artificial intelligence is facing increasingly severe regulatory challenges; virtual reality technology has experienced an avalanche ebb in about 16 years; blockchain technology has been unable to break free from the magical influence of the currency circle…
The epidemic has completely pushed the world into another huge vortex of uncertainty; the proportion of the Internet in people’s lives has risen to an unprecedented high, and it has also amplified people’s anxiety about the future as never before.
At this time, these technologies that were once considered to represent the future and were severely beaten by reality were all packaged into a cool new shell in the capital market-“Metaverse”, which was first created by Stephen The concept created by Sen in “Avalanche”.
In fact, the setting of the meta-universe seems to be very old-fashioned today after 30 years: human beings can enter the virtual world and live a completely different life as long as they connect to an interface-this is in “The Number One Player” It’s called oasis, it’s called matrix in “The Matrix”, and it’s called oz in “Summer Day”…
In other words, the popularity of the concept of “meta universe” is that external factors cannot be separated from the timing of the epidemic and human anxiety, and internal factors and its own concept can be continuously extended outward. The technologies and visions that were inaccessible in the past have ushered in so many opportunities to build a new universe. Compared with the depressed reality, how exciting this is!
Because of this, different companies are trying to extend their business to the meta universe. ByteDance can socialize in the meta universe, Tencent can play games in the meta universe, Microsoft says it wants to work in the meta universe, and Nvidia says it wants to be in the meta universe. Here to provide you with the engine to develop the meta universe.
However, there is a fact that has not been mentioned explicitly, but everyone is tacitly aware-it takes at least 5-10 years to mature the technical foundation, sociology and philosophy in the construction and governance of the meta-universe , The rule of law and other issues are still a desert.
Therefore, from a corporate perspective, there is nothing wrong with doing Metaverse, but from a market perspective, it is still too early to use Metaverse to value them at the moment.
Hacken Lee, the editor of “Sci-Fi World” magazine, who introduced the book “Avalanche” to China, said in an interview with the cover news that the concept of “meta universe” belongs to science fiction writers, and some companies use this concept is probably just a marketing means.
“It’s like a person saying that I am engaged in human-computer interaction. Everyone thinks it’s amazing. In other words, a typist, no one wants to play with him.”
On November 19, the Shanghai Stock Exchange issued a supervisory warning to Tianxia Show and timely Chairman Li Meng and then Secretary of the Board Yu Yue.
The cause of the matter came from the open letter two days ago. In that letter, Chairman Li Meng claimed, “In a 3D virtual planet belonging to creators like Rainbow Universe, I believe that the future must be more than VR and AR. The world of MR (MIXreality).”
Although Tianxia Show issued a risk warning announcement that night, “The company has not participated in the research and development of AR, VR, MR and related hardware technologies, and has no related hardware technology reserves or patents. At present, the products of “Hong Kong Universe” have not yet been connected to the aforementioned hardware technologies.” But regardless of the investors, as soon as the market opened the next day, the magic daily limit happened.
Since the fourth quarter of this year, the share price of Tianxia Show has risen by nearly 90%, and the company’s name has also changed from “IMS (World Show) New Media Business Group” to “Tianxia Show Digital Technology Group”.
This similar and bizarre plot can be seen everywhere in other “meta universe concept stocks” sections.
In addition to the VR/AR equipment companies and game companies that are traditionally most directly related to Metaverse, the ancient Internet celebrity “Talking Tom Cat” belongs to the virtual IP, so it has become a metaverse concept stock-Tom Cat belongs to. The company was originally called Jinke Culture, but in September of this year, as soon as the popularity of Meta Universe came, it changed its name to “Tom Cat” and realized a 60% increase in its stock price in one fell swoop.
The game company Zhongqingbao claims that it is developing a meta-universe game called “Brewmaster”. Players can travel 100 years ago and become a winery manager to brew unparalleled wines, and get them in reality and blend them according to their ideas. Of real white wine.
Since the announcement of this news, Zhongqingbao’s stock price has risen by more than 380%.
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange has sent two letters of concern. Zhongqingbao responded that the corresponding products are still under research and development, and there are great uncertainties about the progress of the project, whether it can achieve the company’s expected results, and whether it can meet the needs of the future market.
“Even if the above conditions are met, the company still does not rule out the possibility that there is a big gap between related products and Metaverse.”
On November 18, the “People’s Daily Review” WeChat public account published an article “Everything can be “Meta Universe””, and pointed out that this question may not be answered in the short term. The routines and scams under the banner of the meta universe are already showing signs of breeding. Without the support of reality, the meta universe is ultimately a mirage without roots.
Someone already wants to leave. According to the disclosure, on November 3 and 4, Tom Cat’s controlling shareholder Jinke Holdings and its controlling shareholder Zhu Zhigang reduced their holdings by a total of 34.99 million shares, with a cash set amount of approximately 150 million yuan. On November 8, Jinke-related companies auctioned more than 75 million shares at a reserve price of more than 240 million yuan. From November 10th to 13th, Jinke Holdings once again reduced its holdings by a large amount, reducing its holdings by a total of approximately 22.17 million shares, and realizing a total of more than 104 million yuan.
Earlier, Wang Jian, another shareholder of Tom Cat, was also cashing out. According to the announcement, in the nearly one month period from the end of August to the end of September this year, Wang Jian cashed out more than 230 million yuan through several reductions in holdings.
Some have already made a profit, some are still queuing to enter the market, most people know that this is a hype, but they have to work together to pile the bubble higher. Li Mu, who works on the blockchain, said that like autopilot ten years ago, AR/VR five years ago, and Dogecoin at the beginning of this year, he has seen this kind of scene too many times, as he repeatedly told others, speculation Coin and blockchain are not the same thing-the former is chasing the wind, the latter is technology-but no one cares about this difference.
In the eyes of the outside world, “They are all liars, and there are even idiots who can be fooled.”