2023 China’s AR Industry Report

Source:iResearchMarch 01,20233:23 PM Overview

AR/MR/VR/XR Concept

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology based on real-time computing and multi-sensor fusion. It can superimpose virtual information data, including text, images, videos and 3D models, on the real world. There is now some confusion about the concepts of AR and MR. In theory, the display screen of AR is only a simple superposition of virtual information and real things, while MR can realize the interaction between the virtual and the real world and information acquisition. However, when it comes to actual terminal products, some AR terminal equipment producers have integrated MR functions into their products, but they have not yet realized real feedback and real-time accurate interaction, which are the functions of ideal MR.

AR Operating System

Currently, the AR operating system is not an underlying operating system. It is mainly a software program that manages AR hardware and software resources at the application layer. An AR operating system needs to (1)support hardware; (2)support content display and realize simultaneous multi-window/multi-task presentation of 2D/3D elements; (3) Support multi-modal interaction, enhance the accuracy of SLAM algorithms to improve the subjective experience of users, and optimize existing devices to solve problems such as heat dissipation and battery life. Most of the underlying framework of the existing AR operating system of Chinese domestic manufacturers is derived from the original mobile phone/PC systems. Enterprises complete customized development and commercialization of upper-level technologies, provide key capability suites to developers, and play a role like XR platforms, including 3D modeling, multi-application display, and multi-content sharing, etc., helping to increase the scale of application software. It is unlikely that a completely independent operating system will appear in the short term. Leading companies and hardware equipment companies and chip companies need to joint hands and promote a more modular operating system together. AR operating systems based on the Android system may last for 3-5 years.

AR Main Control Chip

AR main control chips mainly refer to SoC computing chips. They need to meet terminal devices' requirements for performance, power consumption, connection, AI, etc., and provide hardware equipment with support for operating system operation, simple local rendering, and multi-sensor information fusion processing. Qualcomm has an outstanding XR chip platform solution. Some makers of complete AR devices use consumer-grade chips as a stage alternative. According to iResearch, there will be two phased transition solutions in the short to medium term. However,  AR scenarios' special requirements, such as complex space-level calculations and high-quality image processing, need AR dedicated chips for support. To promote the application of AR in fields such as firefighting, security, industry and even military industry,  chips domestically designed and produced are in urgent need. Meanwhile, with the support of 5G, cloud computing, cloud services and other technologies, cloudification of computing, storage and other functions to lower local requirements might solve the problems facing chips. However, the relevant infrastructure construction will not be complete in the short and medium term.

China’s AR Industry Chain

The AR industry chain is long. Its core technology part involves entirely new fields, such as optical modules, display devices and so on. Since its principle is not similar to VR, it needs to start from zero. In the aspect of software development, to highlight the advantages of AR devices over other smart hardware, the operating system and software development tools, etc. need to be redeveloped to adapt to the interactive feature and superimposition functions. However, only a small number of enterprises focus on the AR category.  As to the application ecology, the application content of AR in the consumer market lacks variety. The enterprise-level/public service applications are still in the trial stage. The demand side can hardly feedback to the upstream to form a benign closed-loop development of supply and demand.

China’s AR Industry Map

Development Trends in the AR Industry from the Perspective of the Metaverse

Metaverse can be imagined as a virtual space based on the real world. In terms of functional value, users can have social and economic activities, such as socializing, recreations, learning, and trading, on virtual activity platforms. In terms of technical path, AR technology is essential to meet the demand for immersion, interactivity, multi-content, and real-time. As the entrance of the metaverse, AR hardware terminal can combine virtual and real information to provide a real human-computer interaction experience. Metaverse leads businesses and capital to focus on the AR market again, providing application scenarios with great potential for AR. Meanwhile, the underlying logic of the AR value chain and that of the Metaverse value chain are highly overlapped. Thus, AR and the Metaverse can complement each other. But the wildly popular Metaverse has not changed the development path of the AR industry. The improvement of AR optical display effect and the application of AR technology in the industry end and consumer end are still problems that remain to be solved. The rising market attention has promoted market education and gathered capital, industry, users and so on, which has a certain catalytic effect. The technology iteration and the creation of a closed-loop business model within the AR industry are still the core.

AR Application Scenario Development Trends

Currently, in the aspect of enterprise-level application, AR hardware devices are mainly productivity tools. During commercialization, attention should be paid to terminal enterprises’ understanding of the industry and the ability to provide complete solutions. The consumer market, where users have a low tolerance, will further split demand to meet users’ extreme demand precisely. Though the two have different development paths, they have the same underlying technology, key links and the urgency of cooperation with external ecology. They can complement each other. According to iResearch, the application in enterprise-level scenarios is in a rapid growth period and will increase faster in the short term; in the second stage, the establishment of standardized solutions for vertical industries will be completed, and large-scale replication and accumulation of general solutions for the industry will begin; In long-term competition, the ability to understand the industry will play a crucial role in the selection of AR solution providers.  Thanks to the influence of the Metaverse and some new AR products on consumers, consumer market education is gradually completed. In the short term, consumers will try and become rational again. To attract consumers in the medium and long term, new scenario functions and wildly popular products are needed.

Table of Contents of the Full Report


1 Overview of the Development of China's AR Industry

1.1 AR/MR/VR/XR Concept Definition

1.2 Development History of the AR Industry

1.3 Significance of AR

1.4 Analysis of Macro-Policy Related to China's AR Industry (1/2)

1.5 Analysis of Macro-Policy Related to China's AR Industry (2/2)

1.6 Investment/M&A Layout of Top Companies (1/2)

1.7 Investment/M&A Layout of Top Companies (2/2)

1.8 Forecast of China's AR Terminal Device Shipment

2 Analysis of Core technology in China’s AR Industry
2.1 Overview of the Complete Device
2.2 Overview of the Entire Equipment: Development Path of AR Terminal Device Forms (1/2)
2.3 Overview of the Entire Equipment: Development Path of AR Terminal Device Forms (2/2)
2.4 Software Technology: AR Operating System
2.5 Hardware Technology: Main Control Chip of AR
2.6 Hardware Technology: AR Main Control Chip Solution
2.7 Hardware Technology: AR Display Principle and Technical Architecture

2.8 Hardware Technology: Overview of AR Microdisplay Screen Technology
2.9 Hardware Technology: AR Microdisplay Screen Technology Comparison(1/2)
2.10 Hardware Technology: AR Microdisplay Screen Technology Comparison(2/2)
2.11 Hardware Technology: Comparison of Curved Surface
2.12 Hardware Technology: Characteristics of Waveguide
2.13 Hardware Technology: Classification of Waveguide
2.14 Hardware Technology: Classification of Waveguide
2.15 Hardware Technology: Overview of Arrayed Waveguide

2.16 Hardware Technology: Arrayed Waveguide Technology
2.17 Hardware Technology: Overview of Diffractive Waveguide
2.18 Hardware Technology: Technology of Diffractive Waveguide
2.19 Hardware Technology: Implementation of AR Optical Solutions
2.20 Interaction Techniques: Overview of AR Interaction Techniques
2.21 Interaction Techniques: Multi-modal Interaction Schemes for Mainstream AR
2.22 Interaction Techniques: AR Interaction techniques’ Requirements for the Hardware of the Entire Device

2.23 Application Scenarios: Overview of AR Application Scenarios
2.24 Application Scenarios: Downstream Content Ecological Business model of Consumer-grade AR
2.25 Application Scenarios: AR Application Scenarios’ Equipment Demand
2.26 Application Scenarios: Positioning of AR Terminal Devices and Attribute of Application Scenarios

3 Case Study of Typical Enterprises in China’s AR Industry
3.1 China’s AR Industry Chain
3.2 China’s AR Industry Map
3.3 Case Study: Hangzhou Lingban Technology LTD.(1/2)
3.4 Case Study: Hangzhou Lingban Technology LTD.(2/2)
3.5 Case Study: Raypaitech
3.6 Case Study: Lochn Optics
3.7 Case Study: NED AR

4 Trends in the Development of China’s AR Industry
4.1 Problems in China's AR Industry: Technology Accumulation

4.2 Problems in China's AR Industry: Business Model

4.3 Two-line Growth Trend of AR Terminal Devices
4.4 Development Trends in the AR Industry from the Perspective of the Metaverse
4.5 Development Trends of AR Application Scenarios


Industry potential: Augmented reality (AR) technology can superimpose virtual information data on the real world. Its characteristics include interactivity, immersive feeling and real-time reaction. In the short term, AR can be used as a tool to improve efficiency and fill the gap in the industry. In the long term, it has the potential to become the next-generation computing platform.
Driving factors: Regarding policy, the 13th Five-Year Plan mentioned virtual reality for the first time and the 14th Five-Year Plan listed it as a key industry in the digital economy, changing from focusing on its technology R&D to encouraging multi-industry integration and innovation. In terms of investment and financing, leading enterprises at home and abroad use AR terminal equipment, the interactive entrance of the metaverse device layer, to continuously lay out the downstream application content ecology.

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