Tencent, a major player in the Chinese internet industry, is reportedly disbanding its XR development team and putting a stop to its homegrown VR ambitions. Yet, it’s possible that Tencent isn’t giving up on XR entirely.
According to 36Kr, a Chinese-language newspaper, Tencent, the WeChat creator, plans to advertise Meta Quest 2 in mainland China. As of the time of writing, Meta formally supports the majority of European nations as well as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.
Tencent may focus on developing a game library and its own software by using headsets from Meta, but more crucially, it could soon compete with ByteDance’s Pico Interactive, the company that recently created the Quest 2 rival Pico 4 VR headset.
Early in 2021, ByteDance purportedly defeated Tencent in a heated bidding war to acquire Pico, and the company later released Pico 4 to customers throughout Europe and Asia. Pico erected a headquarters on Meta’s home turf in June 2022, giving the impression that it was also interested in the US. However, it was revealed late last week that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is actually firing hundreds of employees at Pico Interactive.
Meta hardware has previously been discovered in mainland China. Because to a manufacturing partnership with Xiaomi, Meta (formerly Facebook) was able to offer the 3DOF standalone Oculus Go in China in 2018 under the name “Mi VR Standalone.”
As 36Kr notes, Tencent and Nintendo collaborated in 2019 to market a Switch model that gives users access to regionalized games and other services. According to the article, the collaboration with Meta will employ a similar distribution strategy.