China’s Web3 rulebook is siloed and specific. This is largely down to the implications of Beijing’s rules regarding NFTs and the crypto market. But as a result, fresh, highly localized trends have emerged across the country that are yet to gain traction in the west, such as virtual influencers. Leveraging its considerable technological prowess, the nation is using Web3 to redefine its retail roadmap. What can the rest of the world learn from its distinctive approach to the internet’s new frontier?
Elsewhere, global luxury automobile groups are back dominating the Web3 spotlight. On our radar is BMW, which has launched a first-of-its-kind, color-changing concept car that is set to bring the offline and online closer than ever before. This week also saw high-end fashion house Maison Valentino jump onto fashion’s snowballing AI trend — a movement set to propel the industry’s innovation even further over 2023.
Alongside these, this week we look at some of Asia’s leading players across the digital landscape and their latest projects to resonate with consumers — and tap the continent’s explosive spending power.
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Moutai Joins China’s Growing Metaverse Beverage Market With First Official Foray Into The Virtual World
What Happened: In an attempt to crack Asia’s burgeoning trend of gamified Web3 initiatives, drinks giant Moutai has launched its first-ever app game in the metaverse. Released on January 1, the platform — designed in partnership with NetEase — allows players to design their own liquor while immersing themselves in the world of the brand. Users are also able to experience the grain-to-liquor process through incentivized tasks; each task holds a reward which, once accumulated, can be exchanged for collectible NFTs and a special edition of Moutai’s Year of the Rabbit.
The Verdict: The game has already reached over one million registered users since its release. But not all feedback has been positive. Players have reported that the application was difficult to navigate due to bugs and certain in-game features. Moutai has stated that the channel will perform as a long-term community-building strategy, but the platform’s future relies on the brand’s ability to respond to much-needed improvements — fast.
Maison Valentino Jumps Onto Fashion’s Booming Artificial Intelligence Trend For Latest Campaign
What Happened: Italian fashion house Maison Valentino has harnessed the power of Web3 technology for its latest campaign. To unveil its new “Essential” line of luxury staples, the brand shot its collection entirely through artificial intelligence as a way of exploring the relationship between AI and fashion, and bringing this new hybrid world to light.
The Verdict: The first couple of weeks of this year alone have seen a boom in the popularity of AI. Global creatives are using the technology to explore the possibilities of unique collaborations, conceptual designs, and boundary-pushing ideas. As a result, artificial intelligence is set to be a major trend for 2023 in luxury fashion. Valentino’s latest project is only the beginning.
BMW Turbocharges The Driving Experience With Color-Changing Car And “Mixed Reality” Functions
What Happened: BMW recently unveiled its new color-changing concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The vehicle is able to alter between 32 different colors and also features a digital dash called the “mixed reality slider” — a program which allows drivers to customize their experience.
The Verdict: Described by the brand as “a portal to the digital world,” the launch heralds BMW’s ambitious roadmap into the metaverse, as well as new technological innovations which enhance the driving experience. The project is an attempt to put BMW ahead of the curve when it comes to strong competition: Mercedes-Benz recently partnered with leading digital collectibles brand SUPERPLASTIC, as well as Porsche’s upcoming 7,500-piece NFT collection in collaboration with 3D artist Patrick Vogel and Unreal Engine 5.
Regal Hotels Launches MetaGreen, The First Eco-Friendly Hotel And Land In The Sandbox
What Happened: Hong Kong’s Regal Hotels Group has tapped into the metaverse after acquiring “Land” within virtual world The Sandbox’s Mega City 2. Described as the first green metropolis in that platform, the Regal Hotel will feature 360 degrees of scenery alongside a Presidential Suite, bars, alfresco dining, and a wellness zone. Players will also be able to interact with different NPCs to gain various educational tips, including information on farm-to-table, sustainable wellness, and energy saving.
The Verdict: The conversation of how the metaverse fits into a sustainable future is ongoing. The space may still be nascent, but many are already utilizing the realm to explore the prospect of a greener reality. For example, to tackle the environmental impact of the proof-of-work protocol, MetaGreen has already purchased over double the verified carbon credits it needs to reverse Ethereum emissions. The Sandbox is also in the process of transitioning to the Polygon green blockchain — a carbon neutral solution.