Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and other Chinese tech firms came under fire on Monday. It came after the country’s competition agency announced a slew of fresh fines over the weekend. The latest in a string of antitrust investigations.
Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares declined 1% on Monday, after a 1.6 percent loss in the company’s Hong Kong-listed shares. In Hong Kong, Tencent declined 0.3 percent, while Baidu sank 2.1 percent.
The three companies were punished by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation on Saturday. Accusations were, among other things, breaking antitrust legislation by failing to declare agreements dating back to 2012. Furthermore, each of the 43 incidents investigated by the competition authorities received a punishment of 500,000 Chinese yuan ($78,000).
The sanctions are the latest in a string of Chinese crackdowns on the country’s technology sector. Which has lasted most of the year. As President Xi Jinping tightens his control over China’s economy, pressure has been directed to for-profit education and real estate companies.
Chinese authorities’ actions have alarmed investors, resulting in a 13% drop in the MSCI China Index this year. In comparison, the S&P 500 Index increased by 27%, while the MSCI All Country World Index increased by 17%.
Regulatory pressures aren’t the only source of concern about China’s technological future. Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company, just announced slower quarterly growth, sending its shares down more than 15% last week. Moreover, it added to macroeconomic fears about China’s second-largest economy.
Best to come? Maybe.
“While individual equities may require an unique catalyst, we believe China’s technology industry has passed its low point,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of UBS Global Wealth Management.
According to the Swiss bank’s committee, the market looks to be weighing a lot of negatives and that an overcorrection might be starting. Despite the fact that the new policy measures may have an impact on profitability, economists still forecast a 15 to 20% increase in earnings over the next two to three years.
The UBS group predicts that the market will progressively position itself for an expected profits bounce in the second half of next year, with MSCI rising 15% overall.
Microsoft clearly engages in the metaverse using Q2 earnings call
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, revealed his vision for the metaverse at the company’s Q2 2022 earnings call.
Overall, the company’s Q2 2022 filing showed a significant increase in cloud-based services. Microsoft reported $51.7 billion in revenue, a 20% increase over the previous year. Intelligent Cloud revenue was $18.3 billion, a 26 percent increase over the previous year. Azure drove a 29 percent increase in sales for server goods and cloud services. As well as a 46 percent increase in revenue for other cloud services.
Among the trends noted by Nadella on the earnings call was a “structural shift in PC demand.”
According to Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, Windows revenue from PC manufacturers increased by 25%, which was “far over expectations”. She stated that demand was being driven by the PC market’s success, particularly in the commercial category.
According to an earnings call transcript obtained on the financial blog site Seeking Alpha, Nadella envisions the metaverse as the next wave of the Internet. “Just as the initial wave of the Internet has allowed anyone to construct a website, I believe the next wave of the Internet will be a more open world where people, whether companies, game developers, or anyone else, may create their own metaverse world,” he stated.
“The first place we see this is the increasing digitization of people, places, and things to truly enable organizations automate operations at the next level,” he explained. “So, today, we have a number of examples of customers engaging with us through Azure IoT, Digital Twins, and Mesh. So that’s what you’ll see in Azure, and we’re investing heavily on it.”
Nadella sees prospects for Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces further up the software stack. This in-development technology is to control physical operations in physical areas such as a store, a connected factory, or a building. “We now have a suite that powers entirely by connected spaces,” he explained. Microsoft’s goal, he noted, is to automate physical operations.
Style.me introduces its wearable NFTs in the metaverse
Style.me, the industry-leading 3D fashion technology company, has launched a new innovative offering that enables designers to become metaverse-capable creators. In addition this latest step extends the company’s solutions into the world of digital fashion and NFTs. Moreover building on its growing success in virtual fitting and styling.
The company Style.me mints and distributes fashion NFTs
Style.me creates and distributes fashion NFTs, allowing people to wear, share, and use them across the metaverse. In addition, the company gives its partners the ability to bring their physical collections into the digital realm through bespoke “phygital” experiences.
The company Style.me’s plug-and-play technologies will allow metaverse projects to make digital fashion accessible to their communities. New experiences, such as virtual runway presentations, exhibitions, and live events, will be possible for designers and companies.
Style.me, with its 3D and AR technologies, is at the forefront of making digital fashion more accessible
Fashion NFT utilities are now limited, and Style.me is at the forefront of making digital fashion more accessible with its 3D and AR technology.
Style.me’s President, Rufus Parkinson, stated. “Style.me’s mission has been to enable consumers to see and interact with fashion in the digital environment since its inception. We believe that digital fashion and NFTs will alter the industry by allowing us to leverage our patented technology to open up a new dimension of user experiences.”
Combined with blockchain technology and the rapid expansion of the metaverse, digital fashion will explode in the next few years. Morgan Stanley estimates that the premium digital fashion sector alone will reach $20 billion by 2030.
Style.me’s goods are already in high demand, with consumption rising 386 percent in the last year, and this additional fashion NFT offering offers up even more prospects for growth in the digital fashion industry.
Metaverse: Tencent is updating QQ with the Unreal game engine
According to an upgraded version of the program, Tencent Holdings has stealthily integrated the Unreal Engine video game engine into its increasingly obsolete QQ messaging network. Hence, analysts believe the move is part of the social media and gaming giant’s entrance into the metaverse.
According to LibChecker, a third-party app inspection tool, the Shenzhen-based company updated QQ last month. The new version, which was formerly a chat app, includes portions of the Unreal Engine video game engine.
Tencent launched a new app feature called Super QQ Show, which is a 3D interactive arena where users can socialize, watch shows, and play games, at the same time as the update. As a result, observers claim the move is Tencent’s latest attempt to establish a footprint in the metaverse.
The decision also demonstrates Tencent’s commitment to resuscitate QQ, its second most popular messaging platform behind WeChat with 590 million monthly active users, which had fallen out of favor in recent years as Chinese netizens shifted their attention to short videos and other platforms.
In China, the metaverse is gaining traction. Although the country has not yet developed a national plan for the concept, like South Korea has, officials in some key cities have pushed businesses to investigate it. For example, one of four frontiers to explore in Shanghai’s future five-year plan is the metaverse.
The Super QQ Show is currently under testing by a small number of users. Tencent staff uploaded screenshots and video footage of the functionality. Which shows players dressing up their avatars in 3D, decorating their homes, and visiting others. Thus similar to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing video game franchise.
The Unreal Engine is utilized in successful games such as Bioshock and Mass Effect. Tencent owns a 40% share in Epic Games, which operates the engine in the United States. Last year, Epic Games was one of the first worldwide tech behemoths to make metaverse development a top priority. Epic’s flagship game, Fortnite, considered as one of the market’s leading metaverse initiatives.
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