China aims to ship 25 million VR headsets in five years
Beijing declares virtual reality a key industry for the digital economy and wants to increase the value of the industry.
China publishes the first virtual reality action plan and aims to ship more than 25 million VR headsets by 2026. In total, the value of the industry, including hardware and software sales, is expected to increase to more than 350 billion yuan (more than $48 billion).
China sees virtual reality as a key industry
As Reuters reports, the plan was developed under the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and identifies virtual reality as a key industry for the digital economy in the country's current five-year plan. According to the report, China's definition of virtual reality includes augmented reality and mixed reality.
Part of the plan also includes promoting 100 core enterprises and forming 10 public service platforms for the industry by 2026, with market research firm IDC confirming that just over 500,000 AR and VR headsets were shipped in China in the first half of 2022.
In the West, Pico, which is part of TikTok operator ByteDance, may be best known among Chinese manufacturers. The company launched the Pico 4 standalone VR headset at the end of October, directly competing with previous market leader Meta Quest 2. Pimax, which primarily makes VR headsets with high-end specifications, is also well-known among enthusiasts. Recently, Pimax announced its new standalone PC hybrid headset Pimax Crystal.
VR plan in response to U.S. and South Korea
The state-run think tank China Academy of Information and Communications points out in a report that China's action plan is a response to the U.S. and South Korean governments. Both countries have recognized virtual reality as an important industry, it says.
The report also cites global technology companies such as Meta, Apple, Google, Tencent and Microsoft, which are developing strategies to enter this market as quickly and successfully as possible.