Published on: 06/01/2023
Moutai metaverse criticized for poor user experience after release
Moutai metaverse users have complained about the poor user experience of the newly released app. Many of them cited “excruciating” wait times for customer verification, login issues and subpar customer service.
On New Year, renowned Chinese liquor distiller Kweichow Moutai and tech firm WangYi launched their metaverse — called Xunfeng World — on the Apple App Store. The metaverse developers designed the Web3 experience based on Moutai’s facilities in Guizhou.
In this metaverse, users can interact with one another when playing games or conducting various trading activities. Users can also learn from the distillery about the process of making Moutai’s liquor traditionally.
Two days after its launch, the metaverse registered more than a million users, placing it as the No. 1 app in the e-commerce section in China. Despite its popularity, the app’s rating was only 2.4/5 at the time of writing.
There has not been any response from both companies regarding the issues with the metaverse. This metaverse project has been in the making for some time, with Moutain announcing its plan to enter the metaverse at the beginning of last year.
Moutai is not only the biggest alcoholic beverage maker in China but also in the world. It is expected that Moutai’s business will grow in 2023 due to the increasing demand for baijiu — a traditional sorghum-based Chinese spirit.
Metaverse thrives in China
Analysts said that the metaverse would reshape the strategies and operations of various Chinese e-commerce platforms. Futurist marketplaces can serve consumers better, whether in the physical or virtual world.
Technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality — which are important in the metaverse — can create an immersive shopping experience for these customers. Companies can simulate merchandise in the metaverse that users can interact with virtually.
Like Moutai, giant retailer JD recently launched a metaverse where shoppers can view various items — from furniture to household goods — in a virtual environment. The retailer works with more than 1,000 brands and creates more than 100,000 3D models of products on the platform.
Tmall e-commerce platform — owned by conglomerate Alibaba — has worked with offline furniture retailers to create 10,000 virtual “model houses.” Customers no longer need to visit the stores to purchase furniture items. They can use the model to select their preferred items.
Tmall’s metaverse platform has also helped furniture companies in product development. They can customize furniture and decorum based on the market’s preferences.
Support from Chinese authorities
The metaverse sector in China has received significant support from authorities. The government has rolled out several policies that benefit the sector.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and several other government bodies published a plan to integrate VR in various industries last November. According to the country’s projection, its VR industry will exceed $50.9 billion in market valuation by 2026.
Local authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and several industrial provinces have also launched initiatives to support the metaverse industry as well. Xi’s administration plans to help 100 companies that have displayed strong industrial influence and innovative capacity to thrive.
“The core value of the metaverse lies in its industrial use,” China Mobile Communications Association executive director of the metaverse industry committee Yu Jianing said.
“E-commerce has served as a key application scenario for the metaverse, and a multitude of new business models have already emerged.”
Yu added that the metaverse sector would play an “active” role in empowering the entire China economy, promoting a tight integration between the digital and real worlds. He said that it would create a new consumption trend in the future.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce associate research fellow Hong Yong said the metaverse and its related technologies would unleash the market’s potential for consumption and eventually shape the development direction of various industries.
Hong said that the retail market was not the only one affected by the metaverse. It has already shown influences in customer services, finance, logistics and other industries.