Baidu is one of China’s (and the world’s) largest internet companies. They specialize in search and in AI. Baidu is the Google of China. And they are building out a metaverse. What are they building and how will they differentiate from others?

As a huge tech company, Baidu should have lots of natural advantages in building out its metaverse. They may try and do it all privately like Meta/Facebook or have some public and some private features. But one thing is for sure, it will be big. Its name is XiRang.

So how will it be different?

Difference #1: No NFTs

Although the Chinese Government is issuing its own NFTs now, it’s still a little too much of a gray area for a company like Baidu to take a chance and offer to support them. Despite building out digital infrastructure, having a conference for developers, and using open-source software, there will be no NFT support for now.

Difference #2: No Digital Currencies

In line with China’s ban of cryptocurrencies, the Baidu metaverse will not support any digital currencies. This keeps them on the good side of the CCP but we will watch to see if they do allow a China-based CBDC in their metaverse. Our guess is yes, they will. Eventually.

Difference #3: Time Frame to Build

Baidu says they think right now today, that it will take 6 full years to build out their metaverse. They started in December 2020 so that would mean 5 more years despite the first app being available now. Interestingly, Baidu says they want to build out a completely open-source platform for digital infrastructure for metaverses. We think that means they will set up a (probably first of its kind) metaverse as-a-service with the important feature of being CCP compliant.

Other Chinese companies would be smart to use Baidu’s compliance and then build out their own spaces given how intrusive the Chinese government is.

Baidu Price Activity

Baidu isn’t a crypto but it is a huge company that trades in Hong Kong. Its symbol is HK:9888 and it currently trades at 139.10 HKD (~$18) per share with a market cap of $319 billion USD. Over the last year, it has lost 44% of its value from the one-year high of 256 HKD.

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