Global metaverse hype hits China

Virtual idols such as Ayayi, which has promoted fashion powerhouses including Guerlain and e-commerce platform Tmall, are a fast-growing business in China, tapping on increasingly life-like animation technologies and high-profile celebrity scandals.

Virtual idols generally come in two forms: Those like Ayayi look as human as possible, and others like Luo Tianyi, China’s first digital-only singer launched in 2012 that resembles anime or cartoon characters.

The virtual idol industry is expected to hit 333.47 billion yuan (S$71.45 billion) by 2023, up 40 times from the 8.09 billion yuan in 2017, according to an industry report by market research firm iiMedia last year.



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