Experts warn equity investors against the rise of metaverse advertising

A visitor passes by an advertisement promoting the metavers during an exhibition in Shanghai. [Photo by Zhou You/For China Daily]

Metaverse has become a new buzzword among venture capital firms and tech giants, but industry observers warned that the concept is imprecise, even illusory, and certainly nascent – and related technologies , application scenarios and business modes are far from mature.

The term metaverse was coined by American science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel. Snow Crash, which was established in the near future in which the virtual world and the physical world are inextricably interconnected. It covers a wide variety of fields such as virtual reality, augmented reality, online gaming, cloud computing and high definition video.

A lot of Chinese companies are jumping on the bandwagon of metaverses and stepping up efforts in the virtual reality and AR segments, combining metaverse elements in the research and development of gaming products. However, experts expressed concern that the concept could be oversized and suggested that people not invest blindly.

Investing is not a virtual game and investors buying Chinese stocks who irrationally hope to profit from the metavers will likely be extremely disappointed, the Securities Times warned in a comment on Thursday.

The comment came a day after the Shenzhen Stock Exchange sent a letter to Zhejiang Jinke Tomcat Cultural Industry Co. Ltd., urging the Internet-based company to verify its claim that it has a customer base to develop related products. the metaverse.

The stock market also asked if the company, whose stock price rose about 20 percent on Wednesday, played a role in boosting its own shares by posting the hot concept.

Online gaming provider Shenzhen Zqgame Network Co. Ltd., whose shares rose 44% in two days after setting out plans to create a virtual reality game based on the concept of metaverse, said on Wednesday in a exchange presentation that is still in early stages to explore the company and warned investors about the risks.

Shares of metaverse-related companies fell on Thursday, with Goertek falling 9% and AVIT Ltd falling 17%.

“The so-called metaverse refers to the creation of an immersive virtual space in which users enjoy interactive experiences such as cultural, social and entertainment activities,” said Chang Qing, chief strategist at Beijing Compass Technology Development Co. Ltd. , a professional financial data analysis provider. and securities investment advisory services.

Metaverse is just a publicity stunt, as its application scenarios and profit model are unclear, Chang said, suggesting that investors should make rational decisions and remain cautious about the potential risks of blind speculation. .

Zhang Xuefeng, an independent commentator, said the metaverse is decentralized and similar to a virtual world, which is made up of code. “The metaverse is just a concept of the stock market and the affected regulators should avoid excessive bubbles in the market.”

The game is one of the most popular application scenarios driven by the concept of metaverse. Regulators on Wednesday convened major online gaming companies and platforms, including Tencent Holdings Ltd and NetEase Inc., for talks.

Regulators include the Advertising Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the National Press and Publications Administration, the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Gaming companies had to fully and faithfully impose the time limit on underage players and were prohibited from providing online game account trading services to minors. Authorities also ordered companies and platforms to tighten scrutiny of the content of their games.

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