Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. has officially entered the Virtual Reality (VR) field with an announcement of its own VR research lab and ambitious plans to become an industry leader.
A Chinese virtual reality (VR) company has jointly established a RMB200 million (US$30 million) industry M&A fund with an asset management firm in Wuhan city to back VR content producers, according to Chinese media reports.
Fosun Kinzon Capital has led a US$20 million series A round in Silicon Valley-based uSens Inc., a start-up providing 3D hand tracking and head tracking for mobile and tethered systems for the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality sector, according to a company announcement (in Chinese).
China’s Shanda Group and Shenzhen-listed photo-electric component manufacturer Crystal-Optech have invested US$15 million in Lumus Ltd., an Israeli developer of transparent near-to-eye displays for augmented reality (AR) and smart eyewear, according to an announcement.
Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, 500 Startups, virtual reality (VR) firm HTC and dozens of other investors have formed a Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance, aiming to invest US$10 billion in the VR and augmented reality (AR) sectors globally.
CITIC GuoAn Group has agreed to invest US20 million in NextVR Inc., a U.S. virtual reality (VR) start-up providing platforms for on-demand virtual reality live broadcast, according to a disclosure filing (in Chinese).
CMC Holdings, an investment platform affiliated with China Media Capital (CMC), has made an investment in NextVR Inc., a U.S. virtual reality (VR) start-up providing platforms for on-demand live VR broadcast.
NextVR Inc., a U.S. virtual reality (VR) start-up providing platforms for on-demand live VR broadcast, has completed a US$80 million series B round of financing co-led by Chinese Internet firm NetEase and CITIC GuoAn Group, according to a company announcement.
Worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will grow from US$5.2 billion in 2016 to more than US$162 billion in 2020, according to a new report released by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
A unit of Suning Commerce Group has made an undisclosed strategic investment in Shenzhen-based virtual reality camera maker, Insta360, with an eye to help sell the company’s products via its online and offline channels.
STX Entertainment, a Hollywood film studio and distributor with backings from private equity investors and Tencent Holdings Ltd., is expanding into virtual reality (VR) with the acquisition of U.S. VR content producer, Surreal.
The year of 2020 will be the tipping point for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) to capture two thirds of consumers’ leisure time, while the industry will reach US$150 billion by 2022, according to a report issued by BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has teamed up with companies and research institutions to establish a virtual reality (VR) industry alliance to enhance the development of the VR ecosystem in China.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has led a US$18 million financing round in Israeli augmented reality (AR) company Infinity AR, taking a 22% stake in the company.
Tencent Holdings Ltd. has established a strategic partnership with Qualcomm Incorporated to create virtual and augmented reality-based immersive mobile user experiences in gaming and entertainment, with the launch of a joint innovation center.
Shenzhen O-film Tech Co., Ltd. has acquired a 10.7% stake in Shenzhen Virtual Reality Technology Co., Ltd., a VR developer backed by China Growth Capital and Shenzhen Co-Win Venture Capital Investment Ltd., for RMB60 million (US$8.7 million).
Taiwanese original design manufacturer Wistron Corporation has launched a US$20 million venture capital fund with Silicon Valley-based Fenox Venture Capital to invest in top technology companies around the world.
Last year, China-based investors participated in 36 deals totaling US$1.2 billion in disclosed funding in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) field, which translates to 71% growth in deals and a 277% boom in aggregated funding value. In possibly the clearest demonstration of Chinese interest in the fast-growing sector, 21% of all recorded AR/VR deals last year included a China-based investor, according to data from CB Insights.
China National Tourism Administration has teamed up with HTC Vive, a virtual reality headset developer backed by HTC Corporation and Valve Corporation, and a Chinese online travel company to launch a virtual reality-enabled digital travel platform.
Guian New Area, a 1,795 square kilometer economic zone located near Guiyang city in sleepy Guizhou province, has established Beidouwan Virtual Reality (VR) Town, an initiative backed by preferential government policies to support the development in the fast-growing VR industry in China.
Qiming Venture Partners has led a series B round worth around US$10 million in Hypereal, a Shanghai-based visual reality headset developer, according to a company announcement.
Fortune Capital has led a reported RMB100 million (US$14 million) series A round in Shadow Creator, a Shanghai-based visual reality headset device developer. Beijing-based investment firm Everest Venture Capital and Initial Venture Capital also participated in the round, according to Chinese media reports.
San Francisco-based Leap Motion Inc., a start-up developing motion tracking technology for natural input in virtual and augmented reality, has raised a US$50 million series C round led by clients advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
As pornography is banned in China, a Taiwanese firm wants to get some skin in the game.
China is finding a new application for virtual reality (VR) in drug rehab centers. Four such centers have been set up in coastal Zhejiang province using VR programs to treat over 1,008 drug abusers.
Wang Lifeng, a visual technology expert who previously worked as a director at Autodesk Software (China) Co., Ltd., and a researcher at Microsoft Corporation, has joined 51HiTech, a Beijing-based virtual reality and augmented reality start-up as chief technology officer, according to the firm’s announcement on its WeChat account.
Shunwei Capital, a venture firm backed by Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun, has led a US$100 million series D round of financing for Kujiale, a Chinese home design platform utilizing virtual reality (VR) technology.
Chinese furniture retailer Red Star Macalline Group has led a RMB300 million (US$48 million) series B funding round in 3vjia.com, a Chinese 3D home design and furnishing portal employing virtual reality technology.