Friday, July 19, 2024

Apple Launches Vision Pro Pre-Orders in Mainland China Today, Going Where Meta Can’t

Apple announced at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week it’s finally set to release Vision Pro internationally, as it’s now coming to a number of new countries over the next two months. Today, customers in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China can pre-order—the latter of which gives Apple a chance to tap into a massive domestic market its main competitor Meta has so far been barred from accessing.

Update (June 14th, 2024): According to Chinese language outlet VRtuoluo, mainland China customers are being offered 30-minute trial slots at Apple’s China-based stores, which covers all 16 provinces and cities covered by the company. On-site demos start there from its June 28th launch date.

Apple first confirmed it was launching in mainland China in late March, underlining the company’s unique access to that country’s domestic market, which behind the US and EU, is the world’s third-largest consumer market.

Notably, Meta was hoping to collaborate with Chinese tech giant Tencent to bring Quest to China late last year, however talks reportedly stalled, ostensibly making Meta’s access to that country as a non-starter. Today, Meta’s social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are all blocked there.

Meanwhile, Vision Pro is also coming to Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore today, with similar trial and pre-order schemes available through the official Apple Store in those less strictly-controlled regions. The original article announcing international availability follows below:

Original Article (June 10th, 2024): Previously only available in the United States since its initial launch in February, Apple says it’s now bringing Vision Pro to mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, which includes keyboard support for major world languages used in those countries.

Apple says users in mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore can pre-order Apple Vision Pro on June 13th, with earliest shipments coming June 28th. Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK can pre-order on June 28th, with availability beginning on July 12th.

Dual Loop band | Image courtesy Apple

Apple says Vision Pro will include DingTalk, Douyin VR Live, Migu Video, Taobao, Tencent Video, and Weibo in China; apps from Yahoo! JAPAN, LIFULL HOME’S, U-NEXT, and Nikkei in Japan; and Singtel CAST, StarHub TV+, and mewatch in Singapore.

Upcoming apps also include MUBI and Soul Spire in the UK; Canal+, Foxar, OQEE, and SeLoger in France; BILD, OTTO, and ZDF in Germany; Classix and Sportsnet in Canada; and Domain in Australia.

This follows earlier reports in March that Apple would indeed be launching in mainland China in addition to a number of the countries mentioned above. In practice, this gives the Cupertino tech giant a critical reach beyond Meta, which is barred from operating its apps and services in mainland China.

Earlier this year it was reported that talks between Meta and Chinese tech giant Tencent had stalled, which may have otherwise opened up some avenue for Meta hardware to launch inside the tightly-controlled country.


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