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ByteDance’s VR Unit Stumbles in Early Effort to Challenge Meta


Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, has long had an ambition to follow in the footsteps of Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg and grab a piece of the nascent market for augmented and virtual reality. In 2020, the year Meta launched its Quest 2 VR headset, ByteDance engineers worked on a confidential internal project to develop AR glasses, according to a person with direct knowledge of the previously unreported project. Then in April last year, Zhang ramped up his effort and bought Chinese VR headset developer Pico for 9 billion yuan ($1.28 billion), outbidding rival Tencent, the Chinese tech giant that operates WeChat.

So far, though, ByteDance has struggled to make Pico a force in VR. Shortly after ByteDance acquired Pico, that company’s CEO, Henry Zhou, told some ByteDance managers he was aiming for VR headset sales of 1 million units for 2021, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations. But Pico’s 2021 shipments turned out to be just 510,000 units, with a market share of 4.7%, compared to market leader Meta’s 81%, according to research firm IDC.

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  • Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/bytedances-vr-unit-stumbles-in-early-effort-to-challenge-meta

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