If you think you’ve been hearing a lot about virtual reality these days, it’s nothing compared to what’s going on in China.
Here in the U.S., VR is very much in the news as hardware like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung’s Gear VR, and others have become mainstream products. But to people who know what’s going on in China, the VR ecosystem there has probably already surpassed that of the U.S. and Europe. And that’s to say nothing of the potential for further explosive growth that’s expected to come soon.
“VR is huge in China,” said Minal Hasan, the general partner and managing partner of K2 Global, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that is making substantial investments in Asia. “I think China will adopt VR way faster than the U.S. because of how the country is structured, and how involved the government is.”
Many recent data points back up that prediction. Earlier this month, California’s NextVR, a leading producer and distributor of live-streamed pro sports and music events in VR, announced tens of millions of dollars in new funding from Chinese investors. Jaunt VR, a maker of a high-end VR camera and the developer of an end-to-end VR production and distribution system, set up a joint venture this spring aiming to bring cinematic virtual reality to China. Also this month, Bloomberg wrote that Chinese investors are hot on numerous types of VR apps.