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Japan companies go virtual to boost real-world profits

VR startup attracts big brands looking to pull through COVID fallout

Staff at Japanese virtual reality startup Hikky hold a meeting using avatars. (Photo courtesy of Hikky)

TOKYO -- As the COVID-19 pandemic casts its shadow over everything from shopping to attending concerts and trade exhibitions, attempts to re-create these experiences in a virtual world have been gathering steam.

Hikky, a Japanese startup that organizes virtual events, recently drew over 60 corporate exhibitors to a trade fair held virtually. Companies including NTT Docomo, Yamaha Motor and rail operator JR East took the chance to show off products and services to would-be customers joining remotely.

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