Chinese tech giant Baidu bets on AI and virtual reality

Several tech giants and visionaries  have been rallying around artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented and virtual realities (AR/VR) as the next big developments in technology. The Chinese online search giant Baidu Inc embarked on this strategy as it announced its first venture capital firm focusing next-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality.

According to a recent report by China Daily, the new company Baidu Venture, will mainly focus on early-stage AI, AR and VR projects. In an official statement Baidu says that new venture company will be an independent entity with an initial investment fund of $200 million. Last year, the search giant had launched a VR section under its domain.

Bloomberg reports that by 2020 the Chinese VR market is expected to grow up to $8,5 billion.

According to a recent report by IQiyi.com Inc. — a research unit of Baidu — at least 200 startups are working in China’s virtual-reality industry.

California based research company Digi-Capital reports that in the same period $1.1 billion was invested in the Chinese VR industry.