LeTV has taken their first steps into the VR market, releasing a smartphone headset priced at 149 yuan ($23 USD). The LeVR Cool 1 goes on sale by December 29, capping off a year of hardware releases including the LeTV smart TVs and a high-end range of smartphones.

LeTV, founded in 2004 as a video streaming service, are looking to leverage their content resources to sell their VR brand. The company plans to integrate their video-on-demand service with upcoming LeVR products.

Currently the headset is only compatible with LeTV handsets, the LeTV One and One Pro. The headset will also be exclusive to LeTV’s e-commerce platform LeMall.

“Few companies will fully handle VR business as selling the product requires premium hardware design, powerful cloud computing support and fruitful content,” said Ablikim Ablimit, vice-president of strategy management at LeTV in an interview with state media outlet Xinhua.

LeTV has perviously released plans to use VR technology in live-streaming sports events and concerts.

LeTV joins a number of Chinese companies vying to edge their way into the virtual reality space. Notable names include ANTVR, the Beijing-based company who launched off the back of a $260,000 USD Kickstarter campaign, releasing new goggles and cameras in late 2014.

ANTVR is among a number of companies working with LeTV to develop their technology. LeTV also says they have signed deals with LingVR and 3Glasses, two of the better-known local Chinese brands.

Investor interest in VR has skyrocketed in China since Facebook’s $2 billion USD acquisition of Oculus VR. Last month Chinese VR company GDI announced they would list on the NEEQ, China’s third national equity exchange, also known as Xin Sanban. In September US-based Jaunt VR received investment from China Media Capital (CMC) alongside Walt Disney, as they begin a push to enter the Chinese market.

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com

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