iQIYI, the Chinese video streaming giant, has launched a set of virtual reality apps and created a VR partner incentive scheme with the aim of establishing the world's largest Chinese-language VR platform. The company made the announcement at the 2016 iQIYI World Conference held in Beijing early in May.
"iQIYI's expertise in online video and games will serve us as a springboard to build up an open and complete industry chain that covers VR production, distribution and interaction," said Gong Yu, founder and CEO of iQIYI.
The iVR set of apps namely iVR Panorama Cinema and iVR Game Room are designed for all the head-mounted VR devices currently available.
To help nurture the market for Chinese made VR productions, iQIYI also announced a VR Partner Incentive Program, in which the company will work with VR video and game developers to make ten copyrighted online films and dramas and 100 copyrighted games into VR productions.
As part of the scheme, iQIYI will provide marketing, production and operation assistance to more than 300 of its partners in VR content and device manufacturing sectors. The company expects to reach more than 10 million users in China in the next 12 months with its services.
One of the first projects will be the production of a VR fantasy film, Iron fists of the Despicable in collaboration with Wuxi Soulpower Culture Media Co., Ltd., one of the finest 3D production companies in China.
iQIYI also plans to convert online concerts, travelogues, sports events, sit-coms and live broadcast programs into VR experiences in the future.
iQIYI is the largest video streaming player in China in terms of the number of users. As of March this year, 350 million PC users accessed iQIYI and 275 million people used iQIYI's mobile app, according to iResearch.
Founded in April 2010, iQIYI is an independently operated subsidiary of Baidu, the world's largest Chinese search engine.