Yahoo, Meta to test waters in Hong Kong; A Chinese Plot?

Lavina Daryanani
Source: Marketing Interactive

Even though the market is currently in a bearish phase, people’s spirit—who are ‘in for the tech’—remains to be quite high. Other companies are also making full use of this time to try and test out new tangents.

Zuckerberg’s Meta, for instance, announced its plans to undertake a series of metaverse initiatives that include exhibitions and workshops in Hong Kong to provide experience to the city’s 7.4 million residents.

Yahoo jumps onto the metaverse bandwagon

Now, according to reports, Yahoo is set to launch a series of metaverse activities in the city to explore the use of advertising technologies.

Per Yahoo’s announcement, the company intends to conduct virtual concerts and exhibitions on the metaverse platform Decentraland. They’d do so by featuring idol groups and artists. Additionally, it also plans to release a limited number of NFTs.

Lorraine Cheung, head of audience at Yahoo Hong Kong, said

“Yahoo Hong Kong has always been providing a wide range of online services that are relevant to people’s daily lives, including using the latest technology to improve and enhance the user experience… We hope to use the metaverse to connect people regardless of time and physical location.”

Is China trying to cement its position?

Well, China has maintained quite a hostile relationship with crypto tech. Last year, for instance, it ended up cracking down on Bitcoin mining. Nevertheless, a report from May, brought to light that China remains the second biggest Bitcoin mining hub despite Beijing’s ban on the practice.

With respect to the metaverse as well, the nation was initially, hesitant about the whole concept. China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, for instance, had issued a warning against illegal fundraising schemes being tied to the metaverse. Despite that, over 1600 metaverse trademark applications were submitted to the State Intellectual Property Office, indicating that there’s interest and development in the region.

Alongside, per Roger Li—senior director of ad creative at Yahoo Creative Studios in the Asia-Pacific region—around 86% of Gen Z expect their digital experiences and interactions to be seamless with the real world, and over 80% of Hongkongers are interested or already engaging in an immersive experience. Li exclaimed,

“The next wave of digital shoppability is here.”

Now with prominent names like Meta and Yahoo into the game, it looks like China is, perhaps, cementing its position and trying to get ahead of competitors like South Korea, which recently made a $185 million metaverse fund allocation.