Chinese Firms Continue to Go Metaverse Despite Government Warnings

Bob Mason
Updated: Dec 22, 2021, 08:15 UTC

Chinese tech firm applications for metaverse trademarks surge in recent months. Approvals of these applications may be less forthcoming, however.

China Proposes Supervision for NFT and Metaverse

Warnings by the Chinese government and China’s ban on cryptocurrencies has not held back China’s tech firms. According to recent reports, more than 1,300 Chinese companies have registered for trademarks related to the metaverse. This is a marked increase when considering the fact that just over 100 companies had reportedly filed for trademarks a few months ago.

China and Metaverse

There’s been plenty of news on metaverse and warnings from China’s regulator the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The latest figures, however, show that the warnings are falling on deaf ears.

More significantly, the PBoC is reportedly looking to clamp down on NFTs and the metaverse using AML tools. Following the countrywide ban on cryptos, the clamp down is natural progression for the PBoC. Efforts from the PBoC to reign in the space are likely to build when considering the latest numbers.

With companies having filed for trademarks that have reportedly reached 8,534 by last Sunday, the big question will be how many, if any, will get approval.

The PBoC’s AML unit has reportedly claimed that the metaverse represents threats and stated that consistent high-level vigilance must be maintained. Elaborating on this, the AML unit also views virtual assets as a pathway for illegal activities, facilitated by the isolated nature of NFTs and metaverse-based items.

Big China Tech Firms Make a Stand

In spite of all of this, a number of prominent Chinese tech firms are amongst the more than 1,300 to file for trademarks.

Huawei Technologies Co is certainly one prominent firm. It wasn’t too long ago that Huawei had been under the watchful eye of the Trump administration. The country’s second largest gaming company, NetEase, has reportedly filed for 26 metaverse-related trademarks. There’s also gaming company Tencent and TV brand Hisense.

Best Case Scenario

For the likes of Huawei and Tencent, amongst others, the base-case scenario is approval. Approval will likely come with pitfalls for China’s tech firms. Censorship is unlikely to ease with the evolution of NFTs and the metaverse. If anything, it will likely become more stringent. Worse-case, the government could go beyond simply denying the trademark applications.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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