HiPiHi (pronounced High-pee-high, for those of you that are curious) is gearing up towards a launch by pulling in partners. P&G are already on board, and Intel are gearing up to launch the "Intel Experience Center" on 160,000 square metres of HiPiHi land on 22 November (considering that HiPiHi is in China - you can take your pick about which day 22 November actually is).
Chinese-based HiPiHi has been both criticized and praised in the media for it's uncanny resemblance to Second Life - from the feel of their website, to their avatars, stock animations, creation tools and business model.
Nevertheless, more players in this space with more points of view are a welcome sight. As an emerging industry, narrow monopolies weaken the whole structure and potential future. It would not be entirely unexpected to see HiPiHi partner up with Linden Lab and IBM on interoperability standards.
HiPiHi is in beta right now. English would-be beta-testers can sign up here.
[via Virtual Worlds News]