Microsoft held a presentation in Shanghai on May 23 where the company revealed that the Chinese Government approved the Microsoft Hololens for sale to its citizens.
China is the largest and fastest growing market for virtual reality hardware and software, and Microsoft wants a piece of that pie. The tech giant recently approached the Chinese government for approval to sell the Hololens mixed reality computing developer kits in China. Today, Microsoft revealed that it has received approval; sales start now.
The Chinese technology market is traditionally hard to break into. The government in China restricts the use and sales of many electronic devices and Western-derived software. It was just four years ago that China lifted a decades-long ban on console-based video games, and to this day, you can’t access Valve’s Steam platform from within China. HTC had to create Viveport so that it could offer a software distribution platform in China to support the Vive VR system.
Breaking Hololens into the Chinese market could be a major win for Microsoft and its Mixed Reality platform. The immersive technology industry is booming in China, and with a population of over a billion people, the pool of development talent there is large. Microsoft said it shipped over 22,000 Hololens developer kits since it launched in 2016. Now that it’s selling in China, that number should jump quickly, which can only be a good thing. More developers mean more chances to create something amazing for the platform.
Microsoft said the Hololens developer kits are available in China now. The company didn’t provide a link to where you can purchase one, though.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.