context: Applications using virtual human technologies have been on the rise, despite the reservations of regulatory authorities and concerns from technology experts. But as Beijing gets tough on influencers, the ability of virtual humans to avoid scandals and controversies that may haunt human celebrities has an added level of appeal for authorities and industry alike.

Recognising Web 3.0 applications as an area of potential growth and innovation, the city of Beijing released on 3 Aug 2022 a 2022-2025 action plan for promoting the development of the virtual human industry. The action plan sets ambitious targets for the next three years and highlights the key areas for action, including

  • development targets
    • by 2025, develop a 50 bn virtual human industry, with 1-2 leading companies in the industry with revenues over 5 bn each, and 10 key companies with over 1 bn each in revenue
    • on key technologies, establish 10 industry-academia labs and enterprise technology innovation centres
    • on platforms for common technologies, build 5+ platforms on cloud rendering, interactive drives, intelligent computing, data opening and digital asset circulation
    • on application examples, nurture 20 projects in culture & tourism, finance and government affairs
    • on industrial parks, establish 2+ virtual human parks/bases
  • main tasks
    • lead innovation and build a full value chain technology system
      • strengthen base-level tech support
      • optimise production tools for virtual humans
      • accelerate the construction of platforms for common technologies
      • implement strategic projects to standardise the industry
    • cultivate benchmark projects driven by use scenarios
      • service-oriented virtual human applications
      • performance-oriented virtual human innovation
      • cultivate a market for key data factors for the industry
    • improve services and optimise industry ecosystem
      • improve IPR protection mechanisms
      • build zones/areas with industry concentration
      • build innovation company teams
      • optimise talent service
      • clear paths for raising and investing capital
  • safeguarding measures
    • strengthen organisations promoting coordination
    • build international exchange platforms
    • explore multi-level risk prevention mechanisms