To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

It has more imagination space than To C enterprises.

Metaverse, the hottest concept in 2021, is not one of them.

Looking back on 2021, there are many outlets. Internet finance, community group buying, online education, short videos, new energy vehicles, live streaming, cryptocurrencies… Why is only the Metaverse successfully breaking the circle and becoming a popular concept?

The answer is very simple, because only the Metaverse can support the entire imagination of the next generation of social and economic forms after the Internet.

As the next stop of the Internet, the development of the Metaverse can be seen from the development path of the Internet: for example, it first broke out in the consumer field, and then, under the supervision and guidance of national policies, it can be used as an infrastructure to empower the real economy.

Combined with the recent performance of foreign technology giants, it is not difficult to find that compared with C-side applications such as games, social networking, and entertainment that have made the first shot of the Metaverse, To B companies may be the last laughing king.

01 Why the Metaverse?

Over the past 20 years, from the PC Internet to the mobile Internet, China’s Internet industry has achieved rapid growth for more than ten years by relying on its huge population base and rapidly rising Internet penetration rate, creating one after another wealth-making myths, and opening people’s minds. A new era of online consumption, social interaction and entertainment.

However, today, China’s Internet has gradually entered the embarrassing situation of internal and external difficulties .

Wu Xiaobo shared several sets of data in his 2022 New Year’s Eve speech: China’s mobile phone (smartphone is still the most important traffic entry in China) sales growth has stagnated since 2015; in 2021, the time Chinese people spend on mobile phones every day Nearly 5 hours; the number of netizens in the country’s 1.4 billion population has exceeded 1 billion; the number of workers employed by Internet giants has approached or even far exceeded the number of traditional manufacturing service companies.

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

Source: Wu Xiaobo Channel

Therefore , from the perspective of the industry, the 15-year traffic blowout has peaked, and the Internet economy has been highly saturated in terms of growth rate, user duration, and labor costs .

From the perspective of external factors, issues such as monopoly and unfair competition brought about by Internet platforms in the consumer sector have begun to attract the attention of regulatory authorities . In November 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation issued the “Anti-monopoly Guidelines on Platform Economy (Draft for Comment)”, and the first shot of anti-monopoly penalties was fired in December. In 2021, there will be as many as 86 cases involving Internet companies violating the Anti-Monopoly Law.

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

Source: iResearch

Under the double blow of industry saturation and anti-monopoly, the stock performance of giants has been stagnant: as of December 27, 2021, Alibaba fell 50%, Tencent fell 20%, Baidu fell 34%, Pinduoduo fell 68%, Meituan down 23%.

In this context, people can’t help but sigh that the Internet industry is “going away”. At this time, the Metaverse was born, and both the capital market and the giants themselves seem to have seen the dawn of a new era and regard it as the next “evolution” of the Internet .

In fact, such predictions have their place. Yuval Harari mentioned in “A Brief History of the Future” that if all human beings are regarded as a single data processing system, and each individual is a chip inside, then the process of human history is the continuous improvement of the efficiency of this system. process .

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

4 ways to improve system efficiency summarized in “A Brief History of the Future”

In this view, capitalism was able to win the “Cold War” because decentralized data processing worked better than centralized data processing like Soviet-style communism. In the same way, the Internet speeds up the flow and processing of information and data. As a result, China has rapidly risen from a poor country whose economy accounts for less than 2% of the world’s economy (data in 1987) to today’s second-largest economy. Going a step further, when the Internet economy has changed from the “dragon slayer” who once represented openness, equality, and innovation to a “dragon” with problems such as monopoly, invasion of privacy, killing of big data, and creating information cocoons, the system of human society will not change. It began to call for and evolve more free and efficient data processing methods .

The Metaverse fits this vision – distributed networks, decentralized organizations, autonomous communities, encrypted banking networks, trusted artificial intelligence, immersive experiences, unrestricted communication, flow, and imagination.

02 The contest between “real” and “virtual”

Of course, the Metaverse is an extremely complex and grand blueprint for the future. From the current point of view, games and entertainment are regarded as the most likely entry points, but at the same time, it has also raised some concerns about the impact of “virtual” on “reality”.

Amid the overwhelming applause, Zhou Hongyi, founder of 360 Group, and Liang Jianzhang, co-founder of Ctrip, clearly opposed the Metaverse. Both entrepreneurs resorted to the same objection: the Metaverse would trap people in a virtual world. In the virtual world that never wants to come out, give up the importance and exploration of the real world .

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

Source: Network

Such doubts actually continue the controversy caused by the excessive immersion of short videos and games in the mobile Internet era. However, I have to admit that the development of technology cannot be stopped, nor does it have any color of good or evil. The more important question is how to use it. On the one hand, we can accuse Douyin of boosting the spirit of entertainment to death, but on the other hand, we must also see that in 2021, Douyin’s college open classes will be watched for more than 1.45 million hours. If we were a little more confident in human nature, we would agree with Mill’s judgment: through experience, people will not only discover the difference between higher and lower pleasures, but will sincerely prefer higher pleasures.

In fact, the issue that needs more attention here may be the issue of the economic structure at the macro level – the virtual economy vs the real economy . While there has been no precise definition of the Metaverse until now, the general consensus is that it will be an enhanced digital space. Does this mean that the enhanced virtual economy will have an impact on the real economy? At this point, you can also refer to the development path of the Internet. At first, the Internet also first broke out in the consumption fields such as cultural entertainment and life travel. Then, under the promotion of national policies, it gradually broke through the scope of the information industry itself and radiated to all walks of life in the economy and society .

According to statistics, after “Internet +” was first written into the government work report in 2015, it ushered in intensive policy releases in 2018, involving multiple industries and social and economic fields. Among manufacturing industry received the most attention. From 2020 to 2020, there are more than ten policies related to the industrial Internet .

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

Source: iResearch

The “14th Five-Year Plan” announced this year, compared with the “13th Five-Year Plan”, mentioned the “implementation of the strategy of manufacturing a strong country” in a more prominent position, and for the first time proposed “maintaining the proportion of the manufacturing industry to be basically stable”. The reason why the country attaches so much importance to the manufacturing industry is that the proportion of my country’s manufacturing industry is currently declining, and the decline is obviously too fast compared with other countries.

Theoretical experience and international comparisons show that the decline in the proportion of manufacturing and the growth rate of productivity in the middle-income stage, or the excessive growth of the service industry over the manufacturing industry, will have a negative impact on economic growth and increase the trap of falling into the middle-income trap. risk .

In November last year, Wang Zhijun, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that an important reason for the rapid decline in the proportion of China’s manufacturing industry is the unbalanced development of the real economy, especially the manufacturing industry and the virtual economy. Both the number of employees and capital inflows are slowing down or even declining, which is not commensurate with the fact that China is still a developing country.

Therefore, promoting the transformation and upgrading of the domestic manufacturing industry to high-end manufacturing and realizing the comprehensive independent control and capability improvement of the manufacturing industry will become an important direction of China’s economic development for a long time.

03 To B companies may have the last laugh

The inspiration brought by the development path of the Internet is that in the long run, B-side applications at the infrastructure level may be the biggest winners of the Metaverse in the future .

The realization of the Metaverse requires some “necessities”, such as a network that can provide persistent, real-time connections, high bandwidth, and decentralized data transmission, computing, new payment, social systems, and so on.Therefore, the Metaverse is inseparable from the development and integration of underlying supporting technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, interactive technology, network and computing.

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

Six Supporting Technologies of the Metaverse

Everbright Securities “Metaverse Industry In-depth Report” proposes that the development prospect of the Metaverse will be divided into three stages:

  • The first stage is the stage of technological transformation, which is mainly based on the gradual rollout of consumer-grade VRAR hardware within 3-5 years. The prototype products are mainly in the form of pan-entertainment of social + light games;
  • The second stage is the stage of industrial transformation. The main line of development is to gradually improve the Metaverse infrastructure such as computing power, AI, and communication technology within 10 years. system establishment;
  • Finally, in the final stage, users are expected to achieve direct information connection through the brain-computer interface, and the interaction with the virtual world will reach the level of virtual and real symbiosis, and the real Metaverse era will come.

The report believes that compared with the C-terminal Metaverse, which still has problems such as data privacy and insufficient development of hardware equipment, the B-terminal Metaverse may be rolled out sooner .

Just look at the recent movements of foreign technology giants. Recently, the US technology media The Information reported that Meta, which had announced “All in Metaverse”, has stopped developing a new operating system designed for VR/AR devices. Then the vice president of Meta went out to refute the rumors, saying that the research and development of the new operating system was normal, and there was no plan to reduce the scale of the research.

Meta’s operating system research and development project has been officially established since 2017, and its internal code name is XROS. More than a decade ago, Zuckerberg discovered that he was only an application developer, and the giant behind the operating system was the real “big Boss”. Recently, Meta has been controversial with Apple because of its social software’s ad tracking function. Endless is a perfect example. In the short term, it is not easy for Meta, which has the advantage of C-side application ecology, to enter the underlying architecture .

On the other side, Nvidia is thriving . In August of this year, Nvidia CEO Huang Renxun used a 14-second “virtual human” stand-in video to swipe the screen on major social platforms, which also brought fire to Nvidia’s virtual space creation platform Omniverse. Primarily aimed at B-side developers, the platform enables engineers and designers to “simulate digital twins of warehouses, factories and factories, physical and biological systems, 5G edge, robots, autonomous vehicles and even avatars.”

To B Corporation has the last laugh in the Metaverse?

Digital twin of BMW’s digital factory production line

BMW teamed up with Omniverse in early 2021 to create a digital factory that is simulated throughout in Omniverse and operated in a way that allows robots and humans to work together. This compresses the time to produce a fully customized BMW car to less than one minute, greatly improving the efficiency of car manufacturers in design planning, assembly production, and vehicle testing. Compared with Meta’s thunder and rain, Nvidia’s Metaverse is more pragmatic and sincere.

04 Epilogue

In general, To B companies can be friends of time and policy in the Metaverse, and it is very likely that they will be the players who have the last laugh, but this is a long and technically challenging process. Recognizing one’s own direction in the volatile market and insisting on doing the difficult and correct thing is a long-term question for To B companies and breakthroughs.

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