Although there has been an explosion of virtual reality hardware entering the market within China, just like the markets in Western nations, content is still lacking significantly. This all seems about to change, however, as China’s largest video streaming player iQIYI has announced their entrance into the space. In fact, the company is in the process of launching the world’s largest Chinese-language VR platform via partnerships with several development firms.
“In recent years, the investment in VR hardware development has made significant gains, but this cutting-edge technology still remains a futuristic concept to ordinary people in the absence of a VR content platform,” said Gong Yu, founder and CEO of iQIYI. “iQIYI’s expertise in online video and games will serve us as a springboard to build up an open and complete industry chain that covers VR production, distribution and interaction.”
As part of this multifaceted plan iQIYI will spur on content production via a new VR Partner Incentive Program. This new initiative will foster the development of ten copyrighted online VR films as well as 100 copyrighted VR-based games. In total the company has estimated that they will be able to provide assistance with operations, marketing, and production to partners who are developing both hardware as well as VR content, which should reach as many as 10 million Chinese over the coming year alone. A few of these partners include the business publication, Caijing Magazine, Conde Nest Traveler, 720YUN, and Damai.cn. Additionally iQIYI has also announced the launch if two new VR applications as a part of this new platform, iVR Panorama Cinema and iVR Game Room. Both applications are compatible with almost any VR headset designed for smartphone compatibility.
“Over the past six years, iQIYI has built itself into the number one player in China’s video streaming industry, which gives us a solid foundation when venturing into VR market,” said iQIYI senior vice president Duan Youqiao.”China has the full potential to grow into the world’s biggest VR content supply and consumption market. And we believe that day will come soon with our joined efforts.”
iQIYI’s entrance into the VR space should have a major impact on both content availability as well as the innovation made within the hardware segment of the market. There is no doubt that China will become a major consumer of virtual and augmented reality over the next year or two. iQIYI seems to be entering the space at just the right time. Let’s hear your thoughts on this news in the iQIYI VR forum on VRTalk.com.