Indonesia has asked state-owned PT Telkom to build “metaNesia,” a metaverse platform that will promote local businesses to compete with foreign service providers.
Indonesia has accelerated its plans to regain control of the Internet from foreign tech giants with the launch of “metaNesia.”
The Southeast Asian country has commissioned state-owned PT Telkom to build the metaverse platform that will help promote local companies.
The metaverse is a 3D virtual space of interconnected worlds that allows people to participate in immersive experiential activities, such as blockchain games and entertainment events.
Its mainstream adoption has accelerated since October last year, when Facebook rebranded Meta Platforms. New industry adoption has also been driven by a steady flow of venture funding into Web3 products, a decentralized format of the Internet, which has been dubbed the next iteration of the web.
Southeast Asia has been an early adopter of the metaverse and Web3 projects, and Indonesia wants to be at the forefront of that race by helping local companies compete with their relatively wealthier international rivals.
Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy, and Erick Thohir, the Minister of State Enterprises, believes metaNesia can “help the economy adapt to the changing online landscape frequented by its young population,” Bloomberg reported.
“Let’s not let other countries create a new world with their own payment system, while the market stays in Indonesia. Then we will regret it,” he said Sunday.
While there is no clear long-term plan on how Indonesia’s state-driven metaverse initiative will work, Thohir’s initial plan is to allow the country’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses to “showcase their products on a level playing field with large foreign companies.”
Thohir also sees metaNesia as a platform that could enable organizations to offer crucial social services, such as online health consultations, to a wider population.
Among the services currently enlisted for the metaNesia platform is the “Metaverse Mall that will feature stores, service and entertainment centers, as well as a Metaverse Concert for events,” the release reads.
The platform is also expected to add more features and services later this year, such as an NFT marketplace, virtual meetings and even yoga and e-sports features.
Indonesia is not the only country to launch a state-backed metaverse initiative in Asia; South Korea, Japan and China are among the countries in the region aiming to take the lead in the metaverse race.
Last month, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched a Web Policy Office3 to formulate metaverse-related policies.
Meanwhile, South Korea is launching its metaverse plan, which it backed with a $186.7 million commitment earlier this year.
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