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This GM opened a tantalizing Pandora's box for the Taiwan porn industry

She was once bold enough to seek a legal decision that led to a loosening of Taiwan's conservative pornographic film industry.

Now that company exec is blazing ahead now with a hard-to-make virtual reality film with sex scenes.

First, the history.

Production of adult films in Taiwan had long been prohibited. In 1999 Taiwan's Supreme Court ruled, for example, that the Taiwanese Copyright Act did not protect films with pornographic content.

Titles of the more titillating variety were unavailable through legal channels, only in pirated form.

Enter Hsu Li-yuan.

In 2012, the former research aide for Taiwan's current ruling political party started to turn things around.

Hsu, also once a secretary to the mayor of Taiwan's southern city Kaohsiung, joined Taiwanese online film developer Pandora that year to counter pirated videos being distributed online and create a high quality, legal platform for selling porn films.

Pandora was on the lookout then for a female manager and recruited Hsu.

"As long as it's legal, I'm willing to give it a go,” she once said. "My goal is to make Pandora as captivating as HBO."

Now the general manager, Hsu went to Japan to sign a contract with a group of adult video companies called Soft On Demand. Pandora later applied for a broadcasting permit from Taiwan's National Communications Commission.

Pandora got the permit on the grounds that Pandora had already signed a legal contract with Soft on Demand, ensuring the protection of copyrights. The commission's decision set a precedent for future Taiwanese porno flick ventures.

Pandora now has an online television channel with 230,000 subscribers and an app that has logged more than 300,000 downloads.

In September 2015, some 400,000 people watched videos of Japanese porn star Yui Hatano on Pandora. Her clothed image was appearing then on a limited edition of stored value cards in Taiwan despite public opposition.

Hsu told Business Next that her ambition was to "make films that conform to Taiwanese tastes."

So Pandora is working on a virtual reality porn film.

A team of Taiwanese employees will be responsible for writing the script, planning the schedule, funding the equipment, and postproduction.

For legal reasons, it will be shot in Japan. The actors and a Japanese crew are also Japanese.

The film will feature a series of exotic, erotic scenes that bring out the visual strengths of the VR experience.

Pandora President Ting Bao-shan told Business Next that the shoot will require 14 Go-Pro cameras. Actors will be paid more than normal, as each scene must be be shot from multiple angles for VR.

Filming can be complicated because VR technology leaders have shied away from the porn industry. The vice president of HTC's VR division has acknowledged that "cooperation would be difficult."

Yet legal adult film outlets see VR as a way to succeed in a market rife with pirated and amateur content.

"Everyone hopes that VR will take off," Hsu says. "It's the golden hen that we've all been waiting for."

VR films are also a trend in Pandora's field, meaning viewers are more likely to pay for the immersive experience that virtual reality offers.

Investment bank Piper Jaffray estimates that the VR adult film industry may be worth US$1 billion by 2025. That value would make pornography the third most popular use for VR after computer games and NFL football.