This Article is From Jan 03, 2023

In China, Companies Can 'Hire' Virtual Employees For About Rs 11 Lakh A Year

Businesses and companies in China are now shelling out a lot of money for virtual workers in a variety of fields.

In China, Companies Can 'Hire' Virtual Employees For About Rs 11 Lakh A Year

Singer Luo Tianyi, China's most popular virtual idol performing in a concert in 2019

With fast-paced technological advances in automation, engineering, and artificial intelligence, robots and machines are slowly replacing humans. The trend is increasingly being witnessed in China, where businesses and companies are now shelling out a lot of money for 'virtual workers' in a variety of fields, including customer support and the entertainment sector, CNBC reported.

Notably, virtual people are a combination of animation, sound tech, and machine learning that create digitized human beings who can sing and even interact on a livestream. 

According to the CNBC report, tech company Baidu said the number of virtual people projects it's worked on for clients has doubled since last year. The company has also worked on numerous projects involving virtual influencers or performers. The price of these virtual workers ranges from $2,800 (Rs 2,32,045) to a whopping $14,300 (Rs 11,84,845)  per year.

Li Shiyan, head of Baidu's virtual people and robotics division, said some customers of virtual people include state media, local tourism boards, and financial services businesses. He claimed that costs have decreased by roughly 80% since last year as technology has advanced. Mr. Shiyan also expects the virtual person industry overall will keep growing by 50% annually through 2025.

Meanwhile, China is making significant efforts to build virtual persons. Beijing City unveiled a strategy in August to increase the value of the municipal virtual persons market to more than 50 billion yuan by 2025.

45 percent of advertisers in China said they will sponsor a virtual influencer's performance or invite a virtual person for a brand event in 2023.