China's tech giants test the waters in fashion metaverse despite slim chance of profits

30/5/2022 1:47:00 PM

China's tech giants test the waters in fashion metaverse despite slim chance of profits

China's tech giants test the waters in fashion metaverse despite slim chance of profits

China's Big Tech companies from ByteDance to Tencent Holdings are testing the waters in the fashion metaverse even though prospects of monetisation and profitability are slim in the foreseeable future. TikTok owner ByteDance is launching a digital fashion app compatible with the Douyin e-commerce platform and its Pico virtual reality headset, according to a report by Tech Planet. Meanwhile, social...

A handout photo.The Chinese government, alone among major countries in vowing to eradicate the coronavirus within its borders, is on track to spend more than US$52 billion (S$71 billion) this year on testing, new medical facilities, monitoring equipment and other anti-Covid measures, which will benefit as many as 3,000 companies, according to analysts.Operating in diverse markets, from developed, orderly Singapore to the traffic-clogged streets of Jakarta and Manila, Grab faces unique challenges (AFP/Roslan RAHMAN) Roslan RAHMAN Yahoo News is better in the app Keep up to speed at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories 4 4 Tan co-founded Singapore-headquartered Grab, a household name in Southeast Asia, in 2012 and now oversees hundreds of engineers (AFP/Roslan RAHMAN) Roslan RAHMAN As co-founder of multi-billion dollar ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab, Tan Hooi Ling is already smashing stereotypes in tech but she's also trying to blaze a trail for the next generation of female entrepreneurs in the industry.Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom, speaks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly before the opening bell in New York, US, on Feb 12, 2018.

Shanghai-based Dazzle Fashion joined the Metaverse Fashion Week event on blockchain-based Decentraland in March.South China Morning Post China's Big Tech companies from ByteDance to Tencent Holdings are testing the waters in the fashion metaverse even though prospects of monetisation and profitability are slim in the foreseeable future.China aims to have Covid testing facilities within 15-minutes' walk of everyone in its big cities and continues to impose mass testing at the slightest sign of an outbreak.TikTok owner ByteDance is launching a digital fashion app compatible with the Douyin e-commerce platform and its Pico virtual reality headset, according to a report by Tech Planet."Data helps keep us honest," the 38-year-old tells AFP.Meanwhile, social e-commerce app Xiaohongshu is selling virtual fashion items in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), while gaming and social media giant Tencent Holdings has undertaken collaborations with a number of fashion brands for its Peacekeeper Elite game, the localised version of PUBG Mobile.The government is footing the bill for the vast majority of this, either by buying test kits or paying companies to do tests.Both Tencent and ByteDance declined to disclose details of their digital fashion ventures when contacted by the Post.For Tan, now 70, the deal would be the culmination of a string of acquisitions that has helped him turn Broadcom into a technology conglomerate worth $225 billion, along the way building a reputation as an astute dealmaker and ruthless cost-cutter.

Andrea Fenn, CEO of digital marketing agency Adiacent China, said the country is ready for a metaverse boom.First-quarter profit more than doubled for Hangzhou-based Dian Diagnostics Group, one of China's biggest medical test makers.While male tech executives such as Meta's Mark Zuckerberg and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma are well-known, top female tech leaders remain more lower profile."Chinese consumers take less time to embrace new ways of doing things with digital channels," he said.Moreover, China's ongoing dynamic zero Covid-19 policy may facilitate the digital transformation, as brands will have to spend their marketing budgets in a way that encourages people to spend while staying at home, Fenn said.Rival Adicon Holdings, which received about US$300 million of mostly government money for its Covid tests over 2020 and 2021, according to the company's financial statements, has applied for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange.For brands, that means figuring how and where to spend the money within the rules, since China officially banned cryptocurrency transactions last September.She insists she did not face discrimination as she built up her company, but recognises others have.The ban resulted in a limited Chinese audience for blockchain-based Decentraland and Sandbox, metaverse platforms that Western fashion brands have largely embraced.China defends its 'zero-Covid' policy as crucial to saving lives and preventing its healthcare system from being overrun.VMware said yes.

As such, the road to metaverse monetisation can be a winding one for Chinese firms, as the market is still in its infancy.Kirin Lee, head of Xiaohongshu's new art and fashion NFT trading platform, known as R-Space, said the 20-person team was set up last year after seeing encouraging signs from the app's content-creating community.The latest indicators show the country's economy has weakened sharply since March, as employment, consumer spending, exports and home sales have been hit by stringent lockdown measures that clogged highways and ports, stranded workers and shut factories.A total of 44 percent of female tech founders said they had been harassed, according to a global poll by NGO Women Who Tech, which surveyed more than a thousand people."Our users, who have high spending power, are open to new things," he said.The company, seen by some as China's answer to Instagram, reported 200 million monthly active users at the end of last year.8 per cent growth.However, the mass audience that propelled Xiaohongshu from a niche lifestyle app to the mainstream has not been enough to lift its ambitions in so-called "digital collectables", as NFTs are referred to in China to avoid regulatory scrutiny.Story continues And in the United States, video game giant Activision Blizzard is under investigation over accusations the firm condoned a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination.He wrote that Tan "is committed to cultivating a shared culture of innovation.

In April, Xiaohongshu launched a digital fashion collection in partnership with the organiser of Shanghai Fashion Week, as Covid-19 lockdowns in the city restricted physical catwalks.Investors are uncertain how long the boom will last for companies like Dian, Adicon and Shanghai Runda, whose fortunes are closely tied to government spending.The platform invited nine emerging Chinese designers to come up with 20 designs, which consumers can buy using Chinese yuan and real-name identification - legal requirements for all NFT-like transactions in China.A month after the campaign ended, at least half of the 3,000 NFTs - with prices ranging from 699 yuan (S$144) to 3,999 yuan, similar to the cost of Chinese designer clothing in the physical world - are still on the digital rack.Stocks of both are down from the start of this year.Some issues around gender diversity are a "by-product of history" Tan says — girls have not been encouraged enough to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).In contrast, lower-priced NFT art is proving to be more popular on the platform.Only one design - a blue mermaid tail dress by Chen Peng - sold out, but it was only available in four pieces."If the spread of the epidemic is well controlled and the epidemic prevention policy is adjusted, it may have a negative impact on the market demand for Covid nucleic acid testing..

Of the ten produced, the designer kept six as part of the rules for participation.This starts by exposing females to many examples of women who have built their careers in tech," Tan says.Buyers could also send their own full-body digital portrait to the designer, who would create a virtual fashion item using design software."Epidemiologically and economically, it is unsustainable," he said.One of the nine designers who took part in the event, who declined to be named, said the platform offered ten per cent of final proceeds to the brands.However, it is unclear whether the same commission applies to other projects.Health authorities in Beijing and Shanghai did not respond to requests for comment."We need to help break that bias," she argues, adding that it is crucial to ensure a fair hiring process and female representation on interview shortlists.R-Space declined to provide further details about its business model but said it was in talks with brands, real estate companies, museums and art galleries for future collaborations.His parents could not afford to send him to college.

[[nid:577603]] Xiaohongshu's digital collectables were minted on Tencent's Zhixin Chain, a consortium blockchain overseen by the tech giant, which is different from public blockchains used to support cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum.4 billion citizens.Fenn, the digital marketing specialist, said the restricted blockchain model was an advantage for Chinese tech companies in the fashion metaverse as it limited competition.Some of them need flexibility because they're moms, they are parents.But for Chinese companies eyeing the global market, the domestic platforms are not their only option.Growth flattened out last year, but analysts expect it to pick up again this year and next.In March, Shanghai-based Dazzle Fashion joined its Western peers including Dolce & Gabbana and Diesel to participate in the Metaverse Fashion Week on Decentraland.Shanghai-based, youth-focused department store TX Huaihai also built a virtual mall on the ethereum-based platform.Disease has been the mother of invention.And whether it's in tech roles, or just in general leadership roles, I think we need to be more empathetic of the situations that they're in and see if there are ways we can, you know, help, again, break biases.66 billion.

Dazzle Fashion declined to disclose its marketing costs for the event, but said the target audience for the campaign extended beyond fashion consumers to include professionals at home and abroad.To date, the presence of Western fashion brands in China's metaverse is limited.The inventions are mostly related to adapting existing surveillance cameras and platforms in order to track close contacts and identify potential positive cases.Tencent's Peacekeeper Elite has worked with Chinese brands Peacebird and Lawrence Xu for virtual fashion skins within the game, but based on collaborations with Swedish watch brand Daniel Wellington and the most recent one with Anta-owned Fila, established fashion names are more inclined to launch physical products linked to the game.She went on to study for an MBA at Harvard, where she met Antony Tan — no relation — and the pair came up with the idea behind Grab.Before it can plot a clear path to monetisation, China's fashion metaverse still has a long road ahead in terms of consumer adoption and education.Beijing-based China Railway Group, a conglomerate spanning construction, manufacturing and real estate, has built makeshift hospitals all over China this year, and has been particularly active in areas hit hard by Covid such as Shanghai and the north-eastern city of Changchun.Research firm IDC forecasts that only three per cent of Chinese netizens will have a virtual identity on Big Tech metaverse platforms by 2025.In 2016, Broadcom acquired network gear maker Brocade Communications Systems Inc for $5.

On Xiaohongshu, there are around 7,000 posts under the theme "virtual fashion", whereas the keyword "fashion" has over seven million.Its stock hit a three-year high in May.Operating in diverse markets, from developed, orderly Singapore to the traffic-clogged streets of Jakarta and Manila, the company faces unique challenges.ALSO READ: We ask Gen Zs about the metaverse: Not everyone thinks it's the next big thing Lee of R-Space believes virtual fashion can be a way for young Chinese to grow their interest in NFTs."When we ask users what they think about NFTs or digital collectables, they say it looks like a QQ Show," he said, referring to the feature that users of Tencent's 23-year-old QQ messaging app can use to dress virtual figures.One analyst has estimated that about 300 makeshift hospitals were built around China during a 35-day span between March and April, as infections surged, at a cost of more than US$4 billion."I think it's acceptable for them to come up with their own definition before truly understanding it," he added.The company does face challenges.This article was first published in.There is no sign of waning demand from the government.Broadcom took over business software firm CA Technologies Inc for $18.

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