Baidu VP says its metaverse app is still 6 years away from a full launch
China’s internet giant Baidu said it is not fully launching its XiRang metaverse app anytime soon, although the app had initially debuted on December 20, Monday.
As reported on CNBC, Vice President of Baidu, Ma Jie, has said he believes that it is still “negative six” years for fully making the XiRang’s launch. He also noted that the development of the app had started in December 2020.
Ma also spoke of Baidu’s upcoming annual developer’s event titled “Create 2021.” It is hailed by the company as China’s first-ever conference to be hosted in a metaverse space through the XiRang. The app is being dubbed to handle up to 100,000 virtual members who would interact with each other using metaverse avatars at the three-day conference.
Ma also noted that Baidu intends on creating “an open-source platform” for metaverse developers to provide a building infrastructure in the virtual world.
Despite focusing on digital infrastructure, Baidu’s metaverse app would not be supporting digital currencies or trading assets that are related to virtual property. He added that XiRang uses underlying technologies that are similar to the blockchain and that the plan goes in line with China’s renewed ban on cryptocurrencies that had been first announced in September 2021.
Tagged as one of the biggest search engines of China, Baidu had officially entered the metaverse industry by applying for a trademark “metapp” back in October 2021.
The firm had then released its first metaverse app XiRang, which is translated as the “Land of Hope,” as some of the first XiRang’s virtual had apparently become available for users in early November.
However, Baidu is not the only company in China that has aggressively been developing metaverse technology. Local giants like Tencent and Alibaba have reportedly also been working on their metaverse-related projects.
In the first week of November, the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank that has an affiliation with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, had officially warned about national security risks of the Metaverse and cited potential political and social issues.