Last year, Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, announced grandiose plans for its own metaverse. However, development began in 2020, and the business now estimates that it will take more than six years to complete.
Last Monday, the internet behemoth’s self-proclaimed metaverse app, named XiRang, which translates to “Land of Hope” in Mandarin, went live.
Using their individualized avatars, users can gather in a common online space, explore tourist destinations, and engage with one another. China’s Shaolin Temple is one of the virtual attractions. According to the business, the platform presently supports up to 100,000 users and is solely available to Chinese developers.
In addition, Baidu held its annual developer’s conference in XiRang on Dec. 27, claiming it to be China’s first metaverse conference.
According to CNBC, Ma Jie, a vice president at the company, the project is still in its early stages and will take years to completely implement its metaverse goals.
During a preview of the three-day virtual event, a reporter inquired about the project’s timeframe, but Jie declined, saying, “That’s a very excellent question, but I may not have a very good response.”
According to Jie, the company intends to provide an open-source platform for developers — metaverse digital infrastructure.
Baidu originally hinted at its metaverse aspirations last October when it applied for the trademark “metaapp.” The company is one of many big tech corporations that have applied for a metaverse-related trademark. According to the South China Morning Post, approximately 1,360 Chinese companies have filed 8,534 trademark applications connected to the metaverse as of Dec. 19.
Corporations will continue to reveal metaverse intentions, according to Dwayne Ong. Which is, a project lead at League of Ancients, which he considers a big signal of mainstream adoption. Ong, on the other hand, cautioned of the dangers of strongly centralized corporations entering a market
“where the ultimate purpose is to decentralize rather than earn quick money.”