The “metaverse” has become one of the hottest topics among marketers globally, especially after some major investments into the hardware and software segments by Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. And in China, tech companies are already staking their claim in the trend.
Social media and gaming are all perceived to be fundamental in building out a metaverse, where avatars—digital versions of ourselves—socialize, play, and even work together. And some already see this type of technology as helpful when it comes to making or improving relationships.
In China, 84% of respondents ages 16 and older said they think technology has deepened their relationships with friends and family, and 87% agree technology helps create and promote empathy, according to a July 2021 Wunderman Thompson survey. The same survey found that respondents in China take digital craftsmanship more seriously than anywhere else, as 90% said it takes the same amount of talent and expertise as physical craftsmanship.
Though it is still a young technology, we are already seeing glimpses of how marketers will tap into the metaverse:
Elsewhere, the crisscross between virtual and the real world is already happening in small yet telling ways:
A word of caution: Platforms like Fortnite and Roblox have a very different look and feel within China than outside the country. Metaverse content creators and platforms operating in the market need to pay attention to the strict content regulatory regime in China, where the leash for violence and anything deemed “vulgar” is extremely short.