ByteDance is set to invest in Pico Interactive, its own subsidiary working in virtual reality. It has assigned a couple of managers here including Wu Zuomin and Song Binghua. The two were looking after Douyin, aÂ short video service and Chinese version of TikTok. The third manager Ren Lifeng is learned to be joining soon.
The official announcement of these three names is still awaited, but insiders said while talking to a Chinese media house. Earlier, ByteDance announced to have partnered with Qualcomm for the development of Snapdragon Spaces-based Pico devices.
Snapdragon Spaces is the developer programme of Qualcomm for apps and it is to adapt XR or extended reality, which is basically an umbrella term with respect to immersive technologies like AR and VR.Â AR and VR (augmented reality and virtual reality) are fundamental in metaverse development.
Metaverse is being assumed to be the future of the internet. It is basically a shared VR environment and accessible online by users.
Lately, ByteDance has expanded the team working in Pico. In September 2021, the total employee strength was 200 and not it is over 300.
Pico was established in 2015 and became popular in the Chinese VR market shortly. In the second quarter of the same year, it managed to capture over 50 percent of the market.
The company sold about 500,000 VR devices last year. However, this is far less than Oculus Quest 2 which comes from the stable of Meta. A total of 10 million units were sold in a little more than a year time period. The figure was announced by Qualcomm, which simultaneously is a Meta partner.
Pico has not yet revealed its financials while Meta said it has suffered a loss of $10.2 billion in the VR segment.
Meanwhile, ByteDance is learned have diversified the revenue streams and gone beyond just short video. The revenue in 2021 was better by 70 percent.
Its Douyin app has over 600 million active years on a daily basis. The company is trying to issue its initial public offering amid difficulties like the Chinese government requires the online platforms to submit cybersecurity reviews if more than 1 million users are being handled every day.
Former CFO of the parent company, Shou Zi Chew, said ByteDance may access soon the capital market but the priority is different. It acquired Pico in 2021 and it is rumored the company is a step closer to the metaverse. However, ByteDance distanced itself from all such rumors and hype created in the market.
Alex Zhu, head of product at ByteDance, said they have recognized the AR and VR value and this is the reason Pico was acquired.