Chinese investments in metaverse-related technology will overtake the West’s advancements and highlight the overall value of the metaverse this year, research firm GlobalData predicts. 

The metaverse is described by GlobalData as a virtual world where users can share experiences and interact in real time within simulated scenarios. 

The Metaverse has seen an explosion in mainstream popularity since Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his company to Meta in 2021, marking the change to a central metaverse focus. 

The technologies that make up the metaverse are varied, but mainly include virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR).

“The growing emphasis on VR, AR, AI, and 6G aims to outpace advances in the West and position China as a global hub for the metaverse,” according to GlobalData. 

Adding: “Despite strict regulations, China will continue investing in VR and AI, in particular, to promote economic development.”

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It comes after the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a 12-page plan on mixing the VR sector with industrial applications like manufacturing – showing the country’s willingness to keep up with the trending technology.

“Chinese investments in metaverse-related technology will highlight the value of the metaverse compared to existing one-off experiences such as social media, gaming, or ecommerce,” GlobalData added. 

The predictions come as deals in two of the metaverse's main technologies, AR and VR, dropped considerably in 2022. Potentially marking a slowdown in overall metaverse investment.

In 2022, $5.8bn was invested globally in AR and VR across 1,910 deals, a decrease of more than half from the previous year which saw a total of $18bn invested across 2,109 deals.

GlobalData predicts the metaverse will be worth $376bn by 2025 but believes there will be a winter throughout 2023.

"Cooling interest, economic obstacles, and the immaturity of enabling technologies will lead to a metaverse winter in 2023," the research firm said.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.