Wanda and Tencent build China’s first smart shopping mall with tech and VR

Wanda Group and Tencent Holdings have built China’s first smart shopping mall, with holographic ads, advanced payment technologies, and a virtual reality gaming zone.

Wanda announced on Twitter: “The first smart mall pilot project developed by #WandaGroup and Tencent has arrived in Beijing!

“Based on Tencent’s IP, devices and Big Data, the mall provides a ‘digitalized’ experience with a VR gaming zone, holographic ads, and advanced payment technologies.”

According to Yicai Global, the mall is located in Beijing’s Fengtai Science Park and is the pilot project of Wanda and Tencent.

Visitors will be able to pay for purchases using facial recognition, and will be able to cover parking costs with WeChat Pay mobile wallets.

Retailtainment trend

Wanda and Tencent announced the joint venture last year, confirming plans to bring ‘smart retail’ to Wanda’s vast portfolio of shopping malls, as the retailtainment trend continues to grow.

Consumers are used to hearing about the identity crisis in malls with the rise of online shopping, and retailers are now adding value by becoming an ‘experience’.

However, in China the big players are going back to bricks and mortar, bringing technology into shopping centres to develop a ‘new consumption model’ which could be a lifeline for retail IRL.

eSports in China and Wanda theme parks

Tencent is increasing its investment in eSports tournaments in China, and partnering with Super Generation Investment on a planned AI ‘future town’ in Minhang, China.

Wanda has also said that it’s investing 20 billion yuan ($2.94 billion) in a cultural tourism project in China’s Chaozhou, which will include theme parks.

Image: Wanda/Twitter