MindArk’s Chinese Virtual World: Business First

The new virtual world that MindArk, makers of Entropia Universe, are developing for China will focus on business transactions and avoid politics, according to an Assoicated Press story.

David Liu, chief executive of Beijing-based Cyber Recreation Development Corp., compared the upcoming Chinese virtual world with a three-dimensional eBay, where users can shop online through a more visually appealing interface.

(CRDC is backed by the Beijing government and is responsible for the project.)

A virtual shopping mall for China? That’s what it sounds like. It will be interesting to see how this develops. “The government won’t censor commercial transactions between users,” according to Liu. That leaves a lot of other areas open to censorship, including social interactions, which are a primary use of such spaces. The AP article raises some interesting questions about what will and won’t be available and allowed. How such spaces are governed in future is beginning to look more and more important.


  1. Aleister Kronos

    Has anyone considered how this impacts on Hipihi, another Chinese virtual world (bearing an amazing similarity to Second Life) which is still in closed beta, and not due to launch until Autumn/Fall 2007? it would be interesting to know. I am assuming (wrongly?) that Hipihi must have Chinese government approval, if not backing.

    Unfortunately, I don’t really know enough about either environment.

  2. Nate Randall

    A quick word about Entropia. It is not anything like Second Life. Entropia is a hunting, mining, futuristing gaming world. You shoots mobs and get loot.

    With that in mind, it will be quite interesting to see how this concept of a commercial space fits into the gaming aspect, if at all.