China has been at the forefront of the VR industry lately. Earlier reports ths year, indicated that the virtual reality market in China is expected to reach $860 million in 2016 and accelerate to $8.5 billion by 2020.

Today, China is making a significant step to realize these expectations.

The Industry of Virtual Reality Alliance (IVRA) is launched in Beijing as the only official, government-endorsed VR organization in China.

More than 170 enterprises and institutions will jointly promote the development of the VR ecosystem under the guidance of the Electronic Information Division of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

In an official press release Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC Corporation said, “We are honored to work with many excellent industry partners to promote the development of China’s VR ecosystem.”

“With the establishment of the IVRA, we will continue to play to our strengths, while actively assisting MIIT and other relevant departments, in formulating industry standards.” she added.

China is known to be promoting high-end technologies at a state level.

In May, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued the National Innovation-driven Development Strategy Outline, highlighting the need to develop a new generation information network technologies, enhance VR technology research and industrial development, strengthen the IT Infrastructure for economic and social development, promote the innovation of industrial technology system, and form new development advantages. The establishment of the IVRA is in line with the country’s VR and innovation-driven development strategy.

More than 170 enterprises and institutions have confirmed their partnership with the IVRA including HTC, Alibaba, Huawei, JD, Netease, Sohu, Perfect World, Enlight Media, Letv, iQiYi, Samsung, Nokia, AMD, Ubisoft, NVIDIA, ARM, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, BEIHANG University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing Normal University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Shandong University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Columbia University, Stanford University, and the University of Washington.

Local industrial parks and investment institutions such as Laoshan District of Qingdao, China Nanchang VR Industrial Base, Shanghai Jinqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, VR Venture, and Makers Global also back the Alliance’s aims.