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Baofeng reveals three acquisitions as VR handset sales soar
Addtime: 2016.03.10        View:

Internet video company Beijing Baofeng Technology Co Ltd has revealed strong sales figures, and three acquisitions aimed at further developing itself into what Chief Executive Officer Feng Xin called a pan-entertainment business covering games, movies and music.

Speaking in Beijing, Feng revealed impressive sales of 1 million virtual-reality handsets since the start of the year.

He is now targeting 10 million sales by the end of 2016, sold through a network of some 20,000 offline VR stores.

He also announced Baofeng has just bought Internet game developers GumpTech Co Ltd and Lidong Technology Co, and Jiangsu Straw Bear Pictures, for a total investment of 3.1 billion yuan ($480 million).

A new joint venture VR film and TV program company is being created with Jiangsu Straw Bear, which hopes to release its first VR video within months, said Feng, while it will use Lidong to help expand its VR games offerings.

Huang Xiaojie, CEO of Baofeng's specialist VR unit Baofeng Mojing or Baofeng "magic mirror", said it has now made significant progress in hardware, software, content, technology and mobile terminals.

Mojing completed its second round of fundraising for 230 million yuan in January, giving it a valuation of 1.43 billion yuan.

It launched its fourth-generation VR headset in November, priced at 199 yuan, and a fifth-generation product is now under development.

According to industry consultancy iResearch Consulting Group, China's VR market revenues are expected to top 5.6 billion yuan this year, up from 1.5 billion yuan in 2015, and reach 55 billion yuan by 2020.

She Shuanglin, a researcher at Analysys International, said that by buying film and game companies and cooperating with music companies, Baofeng will be able to produce a highly competitive range of VR content, including games and videos, as well as allowing its users to view live VR concerts in the future.

"Baofeng is making a stand across the whole industrial chain, including content production, software and other upstream fields, and downstream such as offline stores, sales channels," said She.

China's VR sector is becoming increasingly competitive.

Internet company LeEco Holdings Co, for instance, released its first VR headset - the Cool 1 - in late December, priced at 149 yuan.

LeEco is aiming to deliver VR movies and video games as well as educational and sports-related broadcasting services to its users in the future over its LeVR platform.

"Internet giants hope to launch VR hardware devices to capture more market share, but what makes them really profitable is content," said She.

"We don't exclude the possibility that Baofeng magic mirror might be listed on the stock market as a independent company."

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