Chinese online search giant Baidu Inc announced its first venture capital firm focusing next-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. According to a recent report by China Daily, the new company Baidu Venture, will mainly focus on early-stage AI, AR and VR projects.
In an official statement Baidu says that new venture company will be an independent entity with an initial investment fund of $200 million. Last year, the search giant had launched a VR section under its domain.
Chinese VR market will be worth $8.5 Billion USD
Bloomberg reports that by 2020 the Chinese VR market is expected to grow up to $8,5 billion. In 2014 China began a campaign to support entrepreneurship and since then has opened 1,600 high-tech incubators for startups.
According to a recent report by IQiyi.com Inc. — a research unit of Baidu — at least 200 startups are working in China’s virtual-reality industry. California based research company Digi-Capital reports that in the same period $1.1 billion was invested in the Chinese VR industry.
Chinese online retail giant Alibaba experiments VR shopping
Baidu is not the only major Chinese company investing in virtual reality. Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has also announced its plans on VR shopping experiences. At the 2016 Taobao Maker Festival, the company introduced a virtual e-commerce service called Buy+. This service allows customers to easily view and buy products with a VR headset.