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New technologies – Baidu, the Chinese Google, launches into the metaverse
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The internet giant in China launched on Monday its first app allowing interaction, via 3D avatars, in a virtual parallel world .
Chinese internet giant Baidu launched one of the first metaverse applications in his country on Monday, a virtual parallel world considered the next big leap in the evolution of the internet. Called XiRang (“Land of Hope”), the app is only available in China.
The metaverse (contraction of “meta-universe”, “metaverse” in English), is a kind of digital lining of the physical world , accessible via the internet. This concept, which is still in its infancy, should make it possible to free oneself from physical constraints by increasing human interactions via 3D.
The opportunities offered by the creation of a “new virtual world ” whet the appetites of digital giants. Facebook, which is making it its new business project, has gone so far as to rename its parent company Meta. But Baidu was on the project long before the term metaverse became popular in October after Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to rename his band “Meta”.
Visit an exhibition or a Shaolin temple in virtual reality
Baidu, nicknamed the Chinese Google, took his first steps into the metaverse on Monday during a “metaverse” conference in the presence of his boss Robin Li, in front of an audience of avatars. The event coincided with the group’s launch of a metaverse app.
The XiRang application allows you to create a digital character (avatar) and interact with other users in a 3D world . The application is accessible on mobile phone, computer or virtual reality headsets.
On XiRang, users are free to move around in the midst of false natural settings or a fictional city. As in real life, they can visit an exhibition (virtual) or a reproduction of the Shaolin temple – the Mecca of kung fu – or even practice diving in a digital swimming pool.
Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance in the starting blocks
Like Baidu, the Chinese digital giants do not intend to stay on the sidelines of the metaverse. ByteDance (TikTok) has invested in several companies in the sector, including the maker of virtual reality headsets Pico. Internet juggernaut Tencent works on its metaverse platform, backed by its experience in video games in which it is a major player. As for the Chinese e-commerce champion Alibaba, he created a subsidiary to reflect on the various opportunities offered by the metaverse.

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