Chinese tech giant Tencent is reportedly shuttering its XR development team, ostensibly putting a hold on its home-grown VR ambitions. That may not mean Tencent is hanging up the XR towel for good though.

As reported by Chinese language publication 36Kr, WeChat developer Tencent is set to promote Meta Quest 2 in mainland China. At the time of this writing, Meta officially supports the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and most countries in Europe.

Using headsets from Meta would provide Tencent with a ready-made hardware platform so it could focus on creating a game library and its own software, but more importantly it could soon counter ByteDance’s Pico Interactive, the VR headset creator most recently known for its Quest 2 competitor, Pico 4.

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ByteDance allegedly won a fierce bidding war against Tencent in early 2021 to acquire Pico, which then went on to release Pico 4 to consumers in Europe and Asia. It also looked like Pico was eyeing the US as well, as it opened a headquarters on Meta’s home turf in June 2022, however it was reported late last week that ByteDance, parent company of TikTok, is actually laying off hundreds at Pico Interactive.

This isn’t the first time Meta hardware has found its way into mainland China. Meta (then Facebook) released the 3DOF standalone Oculus Go in 2018 in China thanks to a manufacturing partnership with Xiaomi, branding the headset as the ‘Mi VR Standalone’.

As 36Kr points out, Tencent partnered with Nintendo in 2019 to sell a version of Switch, which provides access to localized games and online services. The report maintains the partnership with Meta will also follow a similar distribution model.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    Now that would be something, and much more needed push than “competition” which always has been destined to fail in form of Pico.

    • I’m glad you put “competition” in quotes, ’cause there IS no competition.
      You, I and everyone here know about these junky HMDs because of blogs.
      But the mainstream public thinks “Pico” is a new kinda coffee drink from Seattle.
      Other than the few so-called “YouTube influencers” who are so
      embarrassingly deep in China’s pocket that it’s physically uncomfortable to watch,

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Enough people in europe know about the Pico and hardwarewise it certainly is tye better headset.

        • ViRGiN

          People barely know the names of any smartphones that aren’t apple iphone or samsung, and you’re talking about some imaginary niche market knowing a pico product?

        • GordonFreeman

          I’am in the UK and own Pico 4 and can confirm after owning Meta headsets this is a better VR headset especially comfortwise.

          The library is still growing but people are so quick to put it down before they have actually tried it.
          Meta didn’t start out with a large amount of games either but they’ve had time to grow.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Except the Pico 4 is hardware wise the better headset.

      • ViRGiN

        Which part of hardware? Also, it better do be given it was released 2 years after Quest 2.

  • Foreign Devil

    Funny how much Meta is willing to bend to China who has completely banned the Facebook and Instagram platforms inside China. Is it a hardware only deal? Can’t imagine META VR OS being allowed in China.

    • brandon9271

      they could reverse engineer it without help from Meta. it’s probably a deal that involves software distribution and publishing.

    • How is it “funny” …?
      China is the biggest marketplace in the world.
      Quest sales there mean BIG bucks for Meta.
      Even mighty Apple approaches China on bent knee.
      Why …?
      It’s simple: M O N E Y.
      They can curse China all they want behind closed doors.
      As long as they put on the happy face when dealing with them, that’s all that matters.

    • ViRGiN

      Hatred for Meta here is insane, but you are forgetting that Valve Steam has been operating there for quite a while, with fully limited library. Money does speak to everyone.

  • brandon9271

    they don’t even have to reverse engineer it.. they just use the schematics we gave them to build it. lol we’re fools.

  • This would be an interesting alliance, also very useful for Meta to increase its revenue in this complex period

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Funny how a dumb american thinks he knows everything about what people know/think here in europe/the netherlands. Well, at least you’re not using the bold anymore in your posts, that’s an improvement, but still an attention junkie.

    • ViRGiN

      cope harder

    • I am NOT dumb!!
      One time in 3rd grade, Miss McKenna gave me a gold star on my spelling test!!
      And as far as “knowing what Dutch people”, or ANY people, want goes, if you think
      more know about Pico than Meta, then you’re more delusional than I first suspected …. lol