On Monday, Baidu launched a virtual reality application, taking the first step to enter the Metaverse industry, hoping to test the waters in what many people think is the next stage of the development of the Internet.
This Beijing-based technology giant, along with brands such as Nike and Ferrari, is eager to try virtual goods in the context of the prediction that Metaverse will one day surpass and replace the current Internet.
The company, nicknamed China Google, held a meeting in the virtual world of its new app XiRang, which means “Hopeland”. It can be accessed via smartphone, computer or via virtual reality goggles.
It happened in front of Baidu co-founder and CEO Robin Li and a group of 3D virtual characters.
However, the platform is still in its infancy. Baidu Vice President Ma Jie told reporters at an earlier event that according to CNBC, it may take up to six years to be fully launched.
XiRang allows users to create digital characters and interact with other users in a 3D world, such as a fictional city.
Baidu said it will allow up to 100,000 users to participate in the same digital space.
Users who can only access the app in China can participate in activities such as visiting a virtual exhibition or practicing diving in a digital swimming pool.
The opportunity provided by the creation of a “new virtual world” is stimulating the appetite of digital giants such as Facebook. Facebook’s parent company re-baptized Meta in October, marking a strategic shift to Metaverse.
Like Baidu, other Chinese digital giants have also entered the meta universe.
TikTok owner ByteDance has invested in several companies in the field, including virtual reality headset maker Pico.
With its expertise in video games, Tencent is developing its own Metaverse platform.