In China, companies can "hire" a virtual person for $14k a year.

By The Exchange Team

China's corporations are paying large sums for virtual staff in customer service and entertainment.

Baidu said its virtual persons projects for clients have increased since last year, with prices ranging from $2.8k to $14.3K/year.

Animated, sound-enabled, and machine-learned virtual individuals may sing and engage on livestreams.

These artificial beings have arisen on the outskirts of the U.S. internet, but they're becoming more common in China's cyberspace.

Li Shiyan, Baidu's virtual people and robots chief, claimed financial services companies, local tourism boards, and state media buy virtual people.

He said tech had reduced prices by 80% since last year. 3D virtual people cost around 100K yuan ($14.3K) a year, while 2D ones cost 20K.

Li anticipates that the virtual person industry will continue to grow at a 50% annual rate through 2025.