BEYOND Expo 2022 kicks off in the metaverse to promote cross-border cooperation

The second edition of BEYOND International Science and Technology Innovation Expo (BEYOND Expo 2022) commenced in the metaverse today (Wednesday), with the aims of bringing together the global innovation ecosystem and promoting cross-border cooperation across various industries, the organiser said.

Organised by the Macau Technology General Association, the seven-day event, which lasts until Sept 27, features over 500 exhibitors in various fields from technology to banking to construction, and is expected to draw more than 4,000 start-ups and 20,000 attendees.

Chinese tech giants, including Alibaba Group, Huawei and SenseTime, joined the event as exhibitors, which are divided into three zones, namely, healthcare, sustainability and consumer tech. Macau firms — including Bank of China Macau Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), MacauPass, and others — also take part in the event.

Compared with the inaugural edition held at the Venetian Macao in the city last December, the latest edition eliminates the brick-and-mortar element and fully embraces the metaverse — virtual exhibition and conference halls of the event are set up in the metaverse, in which exhibitors can customise their booths and attendees are represented by avatars.

Jason Ho, co-founder of BEYOND Expo and president of the Macau Technology General Association

The opening ceremony of BEYOND Expo 2022 was held in the virtual conference hall this morning, with speakers addressing the audience in pre-recorded videos.

“This year, as the [COVID-19] pandemic is still continuing and cross-boundary travelling is still not easy and convenient, our team has decided to try something new and move our event to the metaverse,” said Jason Ho, co-founder of BEYOND Expo and president of the Macau Technology General Association, in the opening ceremony.

“This is a whole new experience for a lot of companies and even for us,” he added.

A total of seven speakers from different sectors delivered keynote speeches in the opening ceremony, addressing the latest trends of their respective industries and their expectations of industry development. The speakers include: Wan Gang, president of the China Association for Science and Technology; Roger Kornberg, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry; Charles Li, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, who is now the founder of the technology and financial investment platform Mirco Connect; and others.

“I think in the near future, Macau can take the lead in becoming a zero-carbon city,” said Zeng Yuqun, chairman and CEO of Chinese battery manufacturer and technology firm Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, in the opening ceremony. 

“In recent years, the Macau SAR government has actively responded to the country’s call to achieve the goal of peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality… plus the strong awareness of environmental protection among Macau residents, all of these have provided favourable conditions [for sustainable transport] in Macau,” he remarked.

For instance, he suggested Macau can introduce electric ships to replace diesel powered ships.

Apart from the opening ceremony, the seven-day event also boasts five summits in the fields of investment, consumer tech, sustainability, healthcare, and Web 3.0 like the concepts of blockchain technology. More than 100 speakers from different industries around the world will share their insights with the audience.

According to the organiser, BEYOND Expo 2022 will also arrange over 120 exchange sessions in the metaverse in the next seven days to link renowned investment funds and investors with start-ups and companies.