Chinese VR market rockets as prices drop


Entertainment applications such as video and gaming are increasing the consumer VR adoption rate in China

The Chinese virtual reality (VR) market has experienced a significant growth over the past two years, according to new research from ABI. This is due to the low cost VR hardware and software developments, and mainly driven by the use cases in entertainment and retail & marketing applications.

ABI Research has forecast that Chinese VR market will grow at CAGR 46% to reach 20.5 million VR HMD unit shipments in 2022. Entertainment applications such as video and gaming are increasing the consumer VR adoption rate in China. Nearly 60% of the VR headsets are sold to consumers in 2017.

VR investments made by Chinese online media companies such as iQIYI, Tencent, and Youku are driving VR adoption by consumers in the region. As competition between Chinese video streaming services accelerates, VR is used as a differentiation tool to stay ahead. Chinese online video companies have launched VR content to their customers: iVR+ video and gaming service by iQIYI, Tencent’s VR live streaming of concerts, and Youku’s VR video content are major VR investments targeting consumers today.

There are several significant burgeoning VR technology opportunities that will grow the Chinese VR Market as well. “China’s huge e-commerce market also creates a large opportunity for VR in the retail & marketing segment. Online shopping is a preferred way of shopping for Chinese tech-savvy millennials,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI Research.

VR technology catches the interest of shoppers since it provides more realistic product viewing experiences when shopping online. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba introduced the VR based shopping platform Buy+ which is integrated into the Alipay payment platform, targeting its 450 million daily online shoppers. Other Chinese retail companies such as Suning Commerce Group and have also introduced VR technology to attract shoppers.

Education and location-based applications are the other areas with high potential for VR technology. Many Chinese schools are actively considering deployment of VR technology in academic programmes and extracurricular programs such as sports. VR Cinemas, VR Theme Parks and government-backed VR Tourism Cloud Data Service Platform are likely to drive Location-based VR market in China.

“The Chinese VR market is mainly driven by consumer applications at present with limited applications available for segments such as healthcare, manufacturing or utilities and energy. Development of high quality hardware and software is required for the high accuracy and content-specific needs of these markets,” Lynn concluded.


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