The virtual reality (VR) market has been a hit across the globe in recent years. However, if there is a country where this market has grown faster than anywhere else, it is without a doubt in China.
Chinese Customers are opening to new technologies
Since their economic opening, the development of the country has been dazzling. Cities modernized themselves and society has undergone many changes. That’s why Chinese are now very open to new technologies. They are all hyper connected and are very attentive to the latest gadgets in vogue. This is why the virtual reality market, which should increase by 1000% in the coming years, is very promising in this country. According to the CCID, this market is expected to reach more than $8 billion by 2020.
In China, it is very easy to buy a virtual reality headset. Professionals of the sector but also chain stores are offering it copiously. Such as Miniso, who offers these helmets for a price more than reasonable (around $20). In addition, virtual reality experiences are available in more than 3000 malls through the country). The curious customers can sit in an egg-shaped armchair and embark on a virtual adventure for fifty yuan only. These systems are increasingly present in arcades room too, because the Chinese are big gamer. This makes VR accessible to everyone, especially those who can not afford to buy the headset itself.
Virtual reality is a booming market in China
An entire amusement park has been built on the theme of virtual reality. The East Valley RV of Science and Fantasy is expected to open soon in Guizhou Province, in Southwest China. The park contains no less than 35 virtual reality attractions. Those are the first in China. The investment of more than 1.2 billion dollars that was made to finance the park proves the interest of the Chinese for RV but also the confidence of a bright future for this market. In addition, it can be used for more than just entertainment. It is also useful for education, tourism, the military, aerospace, e-commerce etc. The government has also announced that it wants to deepen research on RV to improve it but also to expand its scope of activity.
However, although virtual reality is a booming market in China, there are still few Chinese that are willing to invest in a VR headset. Its purchasing does not seem profitable, considering the price of it and the use they have. In addition, the virtual reality headset market is already monopolized by the three Chinese giants: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. It seems very hard, almost impossible, to measure up. This is not hard to understand when knowing that those three giants have a bigger turnover than the one of Israel. Although they have trouble finding their place on the international scene, they totally dominate the Chinese market.
Virtual Reality monopolized by the BAT
They have several new features to come:
Baidu, the most used search engine in China, wants to create the biggest Chinese language VR service. This will work through the creation of games, concerts and movies in virtual reality. The VR movies should even have several possible scenarios, and it will be up to the viewer to choose the desired plot for the sequel.
Alibaba has already developed a program that could revolutionize the shopping experience. The e-commerce giant wants to offer the possibility of shopping from home. A virtual reality headset on the eyes could be enough in the future to walk in the street and add new stuff to your wardrobe. It is now developing an RV shopping center and a “VR pay” system that would allow the customer to purchase a product with nothing more than a nod from the head. Tencent is also working on virtual reality in the video and gaming sectors. Since China has more than 400 million online players, this market is promising. As QQ music holder, they will also offer VR concerts and hologram creation services that singers can include in their show.
So if you want to take advantage of the growing RV market, you need to know and understand Chinese consumers. Since the market is already busy, you would either create a new concept of headphones, or choose to develop the features that will be used with the said headset. This can be video demo, machines used during the virtual experience to increase the sensations, etc. However, competition is fierce against BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent). Several brands, like Nokia and Magic Leap, have already signed partnerships with Chinese brands to develop their market in the Middle Kingdom. Some clothing brands as well, in order to develop the shopping experience in virtual reality. Moreover, the government said it wants to encourage sustainable innovation. Political and financial support will be granted for any company looking for new technologies in line with this major issue.
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