About 90% of China's virtual reality startups have shuttered their doors, a new report suggests. And it could be due to a flood of inexpensive headsets wiping out the very innovative spirit that originally led to the creation of between 200 and 300 Chinese VR startups.
According to China.org.cn, the study, which was conducted by iiMedia Research, concluded that "the market for VR hardware has left slim chances for smaller manufacturers" in the wake of hardware releases by bigwigs such as HTC (with the Vive), Facebook (with the Oculus Rift), and Sony (with the PlayStation VR). More problematic, though, could be that "cheap copycats" have swallowed the VR market, "blocking the channels necessary for high-end innovation to reach consumers."
It's unclear what this means for VR consumption in China. If the iiMedia Research report is true, this cratering of development energy comes just months after Minal Hasan, general partner and managing partner of Silicon Valley VC firm K2 Global, told me that she expected investment of $860 million in the Chinese VR market in 2016 alone, and between $8 billion and $10 billion by 2020.
[Photo: Flickr user Congres in Beeld] DT