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Jaunt launches a new virtual reality content company in China

TechCrunch TechCrunch 1/06/2016 Catherine Shu

Virtual reality software startup Jaunt announced today that it has teamed up with two Chinese media firms to launch a new company called Jaunt China.

Jaunt will work with its partners, Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital, to create virtual reality content with the Jaunt One camera. In a press release, Jaunt said its first round of software for China will include virtual tours of Shanghai and music from pop group SNH48.

While it is often difficult for foreign tech firms to break into the Chinese market, Jaunt China is filling a gap in the virtual reality market. There is a growing roster of Chinese companies that focus on virtual reality hardware, like AntVR and DeePoon, but a lack of compelling content to convince buyers that splashing out on a headset is worth the yuan.

The company also has the advantage of powerful local backers. China Media Capital, Disney, and Evolution Media Partners co-led the $65 million round Jaunt announced in September, which brought its total funding so far to $100 million.

Disney has also collaborated with Shanghai Media Group on other projects in China. In 2014, Shanghai Media Group and Walt Disney Studios signed a movie production deal to develop features for the Chinese market. A year before that, they began working on a joint venture to create online content.

Formerly state-owned, the Shanghai Media Group, which runs TV and radio stations, became a corporation two years ago, and runs TV and radio stations. China Media Capital is an investment firm whose portfolio includes a stake in Imagine Entertainment.

We’ve asked Jaunt for more details on when it will start releasing software in China.

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