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Alibaba gave online shoppers a VR celebrity date

You could live out a romantic dream without leaving home.
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VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Alibaba really, really wants you to use its virtual reality shopping experience, and it's resorting to a clever tactic to lure you in: dream dates. The Chinese internet giant marked May 20th, a romantic pseudo-holiday, by giving Taobao mobile app users a virtual reality date with either famed actress Dilraba (if you were looking for a girlfriend) or the actor Yang Yang (if you wanted a boyfriend). If you had a mobile-friendly VR viewer and scanned in a QR code, your digital squeeze would help you wake up, make breakfast and otherwise keep you company. Think of it like Konami's augmented reality girlfriend app... just more immersive and private.

This is a classic promo from Alibaba, which is no stranger to capitalizing on made-up occasions. Still, it shows how big VR is becoming -- when one of the world's largest online retailers goes out of its way to get people donning headsets, you know it's important. Don't be shocked if other big stores follow suit.

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