HTC and the Shenzhen Municipal Government announced plans to set up a joint China VR Research Institute, creating a 10 billion RMB (~$1.45 billion USD) Shenzhen VR Investment Fund to accelerate the development of the VR industry in China.

China’s third largest city and one of the fastest growing in the world with a population of over 15 million, Shenzhen is considered to be the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Asia, manufacturing an estimated 90% of the world’s electronics. Like virtual reality, much of the successful growth and vast investment in this region can be attributed to the rise of the smartphone industry over the last 15 years. Home to Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn’s biggest factory, the majority of the world’s smartphones are still produced here. HTC, another Taiwanese company specialising in consumer electronics, now at the forefront of VR development, naturally has strong links with Shenzhen. From June to October this year, the company assisted in creating a four-year “Action Plan for Promoting Technological Innovation and Industry Application in Shenzhen’s VR Industry”. This groundwork lead to the recent announcement, that HTC has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Shenzhen Municipal Government.

image courtesy of Alvin Wang Graylin
HTC has been instrumental in spreading VR across China | Photo courtesy Alvin Wang Graylin

With an initial fund of 10 billion RMB (~$1.45 billion USD), the Shenzhen VR Investment Fund, established by the Shenzhen Venture Capital Fund and HTC will become what the organization’s claim is the world’s largest single VR-focused fund, aiming to attract relevant enterprises and investment from within China and beyond. The partnership agreement aims to promote VR development together with the Shenzhen VR Investment Fund through the formation of the China VR Research Institute. This level of investment anticipates major VR ecosystem development, with an all-encompassing reach, covering the healthcare, military, engineering, design, and manufacturing industries.

HTC to Roll Out Hundreds of Official 'Vive VR Cafes' in China Next Year

Cher Wang, Chairwoman of HTC, said in the announcement “It is a great honor for us to enter into the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Shenzhen Municipal Government. As a pioneer and market leader in the VR industry, HTC possesses groundbreaking innovative technology and expertise. We hope that we can take this opportunity to merge HTC’s advanced technologies and first-class, global talents together with Shenzhen’s local industry and academic institutes as organized and coordinated by the Shenzhen Municipal Government. Together, with this research institute’s multiple R&D centers and bolstered by the support of industry alliances and the investment fund, we will accelerate the development of the VR industry in Shenzhen and elevate the city’s R&D capabilities to an international level. We are dedicated to exploring the world of VR, and hope to usher in a new era together with Shenzhen.”

HTC has made major investments designed to promote VR development over the past year, with its Vive X Accelerator program announced in April and the introduction of the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance, which now holds more than 14 billion USD in investable capital.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Foreign Devil

    We may see VR innovations being led by China rather than USA in the future.