China’s iQiyi to launch VR platform

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Chinese streaming giant iQiyi has unveiled plans to build a virtual reality platform, as well as co-produce a VR movie, Iron Fists Of The Despicable.

The Beijing-based company has also launched two VR apps and a VR partner incentive scheme, through which it will work with VR video and game developers to turn 10 copyrighted films and dramas and 100 copyrighted games into VR productions.

Iron Fists Of The Despicable will be co-produced with Wuxi Soulpower Culture Media Co, a 3D production house that worked on 2015 Chinese adventure movie Mojin: The Lost Legend.

“In recent years, the investment in VR hardware development has made significant gains, but this cutting-edge technology still remains a futuristic concept to ordinary people in the absence of a VR content platform,” said iQiyi founder and CEO Gong Yu, speaking at the 2016 iQiyi World Conference (May 5-6).

“iQiyi’s expertise in online video and games will serve us as a springboard to build an open and complete industry chain that covers VR production, distribution and interaction.”

iQiyi also said that its two apps – the iVR Panorama Cinema and iVR Game Room – are compatible with all head-mounted VR devices currently available. The company has also launched a VR feature in the existing iQiyi streaming app.

Among other partnerships, iQiyi is also working with Conde Nast Traveler, Chinese business magazine Caijing, Chinese panoramic content provider 720YUN and online ticketing company

iQiyi’s rivals in the streaming business have also launched VR initiatives, such as Youku Tudou’s VR channel and LeEco’s VR headset, which it has rolled out in China and India.

Guests at the iQiyi World Conference included Samsung global vice president Kim Taeyong and Timothy M. Bender, global vice president for consumer products & business development of NVIDIA Corp.