The Chinese government has been rejecting trademark applications for various metaverse-related terms. According to the trademark tracking firm Tianyancha, multiple applications that featured the word “yuan yuzhou” (“metaverse” in Mandarin) have been denied registration by the National Intellectual Property Administration. Some firms that have been rejected include NetEase, iQiyi, and Xiaohongshu.
Some applications are still pending approval. The business registration data platform Qichacha reports that trademark requests from Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent, and ByteDance are still waiting to be reviewed.
“What I see is the government encouraging enterprises to enter the metaverse arena with genuine technological capability,” said Chen Gaojie, from IP research firm PatSnap. “The metaverse involves many core cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.”
A source that spoke to South China Morning Post said that the procedure for a second application following a rejection on the first attempt would take between six to eight months to complete. Tianyancha reports that roughly 153 applications are awaiting a second review as of January 24th, 2022.
The Profit‘s Take:
First, there was the crackdown on crypto. Next, was the crackdown on gaming. Now, we have the crackdown on the metaverse. Even native Chinese companies (practically state owned enterprises) are getting rejected here! This feels like a philosophical rejection of the metaverse. There’s no longer any business reasoning here. They’re going to miss the boat in a major way on all of this if the Chinese government keeps it up. Something has to give at some point. Either there will be industrial-scale workarounds developed to give access to “black market” providers, or China will turn into a society that is not plugged into anything. This is backwards and I continue to warn any would-be gaming / metaverse investors to stay far away from China.
(All information was provided by South China Morning Post)
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