The search engine & media company Yahoo just opened a metaverse experience for Hong Kong residents in Decentraland. The California-based company hopes these new metaverse opportunities will help Hong Kong citizens remain social while respecting the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.
As of June 9th, Hong Kong authorities only allow people who have a negative COVID-19 test to visit public spaces like nightclubs. Yahoo believes the metaverse may help residents under quarantine stay connected with friends and family.
In addition to hosting metaverse music events in Decentraland, Yahoo is building an NFT gallery with contributions from Hong Kong artists. Entitled “The Abyss of Kwun Tong,” this virtual museum will feature NFTs inspired by Hong Kong’s Kwun Tong district.
Yahoo exec Lorraine Cheung says the primary goal of these new metaverse experiences is to “connect people regardless of time and physical location.” However, Cheung also hinted that Yahoo was interested in the possibilities of metaverse-related advertising.
While this Decentraland experience is Yahoo’s first step into the metaverse, the company has previous experience with Web3 technologies. For instance, Rarity Sniper discovered Yahoo’s Taiwan division has opened a curated NFT market this spring with the help of Blocto.
The Metaverse Is Moving Into Hong Kong
A few days before Yahoo revealed its Decentraland experience, Facebook’s Meta announced big plans to bring metaverse tech into Hong Kong. According to the South China Morning Post, Meta will allow residents to test its virtual reality (VR) Quest 2 headset this summer in public areas like the Central Market.
In addition to showing off its VR technology, employees from Meta will work directly with businesses and schools in Hong Kong. Meta hopes these partnerships will help educators and entrepreneurs learn how to use the metaverse in their respective industries. It also appears Meta will educate Hong Kong students on augmented reality technology.
And it’s not just Meta that wants to bring the metaverse to Hong Kong. The gaming studio Animoca Brands has formed many significant deals with Hong Kong celebrities and businesses. Most significantly, Animoca Brands is developing a Hong Kong-inspired area called “Mega City” in its most popular metaverse title: The Sandbox.
A few prominent Hong Kong stars and entrepreneurs that are creating experiences in The Sandbox include:
- Actor & director Stephen Fung
- Hip-hop artist Dough-Boy
- Illustrator Dreamergo
- New World Development leader Adrian Cheng
- “Little Fighter” creator Marti Wong
Even traditional financial institutions see Hong Kong as a significant hub for metaverse investment. For instance, HSBC recently revealed a metaverse-focused fund that would only accept capital from investors in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Like nearby South Korea, Hong Kong is well-positioned to become one of Asia’s metaverse leaders.