Tencent Defies Regulator Warning with Metaverse Patent Application
- Tencent goes deeper into the Metaverse with new patent applications for virtual concerts.
- In 2020, Tencent bought a stake in U.S virtual concert platform Wave in a bid to dominate the virtual concert stage.
- Chinese regulatory scrutiny could leave the Chinese music industry in the wake of Metaverse-friendly nations.
Over the last few months, the Chinese government and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) have been critical of NFTs and the Metaverse. The shift in focus follows last summer’s ban on Bitcoin (BTC) mining.
A marked increase in NFT activity and interest in the Metaverse has forced Chinese conglomerates to make a move despite condemnation from the government and the PBoC.
China Giant Tencent Files Metaverse Patent Application
This week, Chinese tech giant Tencent reportedly filed a patent for virtual concerts. The virtual concerts patent application follows China’s first virtual concert on 31st December. Tencent held the “TMELAND” concert in the Metaverse to ring in the New Year. A reported 1.1m fans saw the New Year concert.
Ring in 2022 in #TMELAND, China’s first virtual #MusicFestival. Groove to the music on #NYE from your couch while your #avatar meets world-renowned DJs and artists with other partygoers. Dive in via #QQMusic, #WeSing and other Tencent Music apps. Happy #NYE2022 pic.twitter.com/hLrqvjX1Yn
— Tencent 腾讯 (@TencentGlobal) December 31, 2021
Immensely successful, Tencent continues to ignore the warnings of the Chinese government and the PBoC. Looking to diversify away from China, Tencent Music acquired a stake in Wave in late 2020. Wave is an LA-based virtual concert platform.
Past Waves include Justin Bieber, Pentakill, Dillon Francis, The Weeknd, and John Legend.
Patent Applications Come Despite Government Warnings
NFT and Metaverse-related trademark and patent applications have continued to surge in China. The surge comes despite a jump in illicit activity and government warnings.
In December, we reported that the PBoC clamped down on NFTs and the Metaverse using AML tools. The PBoC’s AML unit sees virtual assets as a pathway for illegal activities facilitated by the isolated nature of NFTs and metaverse-based items.
Just over 100 companies had registered for trademarks related to the Metaverse before a late 2021 surge. In addition, more than 1,300 Chinese companies reportedly filed for trademarks by late December. Other major Chinese companies filing for trademarks included Huawei Technologies, NetEase, and Hisense.
Since December, firms have not let up. By mid-February, a reported 16,000 trademark metaverse-related applications were pending approval in China. This was up from just under 9,000 in mid-December.
Whether China’s regulator approves all 16,000 remains to be seen. With competition rife, however, China could fall behind should the likes of Tencent receive a cold shoulder at home.