HiPiHi, China’s answer to Second Life has opened its doors to the public with a beta test that includes free features. We first wrote about HiPiHi in August 2007 when the company called for the establishment of virtual world standards and interoperability.
German’s are famed for their ability to clone sites, but the Chinese aren’t far behind; HiPiHi looks and feels like Second Life, at least in the demonstration video (in Mandarin above). HiPiHi is available in Chinese and English, and name registration supports both character sets. The service is free to use and register, and like Second Life users can rent land and create their own items.
According to the Second Life Herald, HiPiHi is working with Intel and IBM towards building the platform architecture so that it “is more open, highly scalable and truly inter-operable, in order to lay the groundwork for the mainstreaming of virtual worlds.”
PC only, and although the service is available in English, the download page isn’t.