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ByteDance Affirms Commitment to VR Business Pico Amid Reports of Brand Closure

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

ByteDance, the parent company of popular social media platform TikTok, has stated that it remains dedicated to its virtual reality (VR) business, Pico, following reports suggesting the brand's gradual shutdown.

Credits: REUTERS

Chinese research firm EqualOcean had published a report claiming that ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming had informed Pico's management team about the company's intention to give up on the Pico business.

However, ByteDance has refuted these claims, asserting that Pico is operating normally and that the company will continue to invest in extended reality (XR) over the long term.

XR is a broader term encompassing both VR and other related technologies. Pico's VR headsets are often seen as ByteDance's response to Meta Platforms Inc's popular Quest headsets. Pico currently holds the largest market share for VR headsets in China, accounting for over 58% of the market, as Meta's devices have yet to officially enter the country.

While ByteDance has been promoting Pico in international markets and increasing its headset shipments, signs of trouble have emerged. Earlier this year, Pico laid off more than 200 employees as part of a company-wide streamlining effort. Despite this, ByteDance remains committed to Pico and plans to enhance its investment in product technology.

The metaverse hype, which was at its peak when ByteDance acquired Pico in August 2021, has since cooled off. IDC, a research firm, reported a decline in augmented reality (AR) and VR headset shipments for the fourth consecutive quarter, with volumes falling 44.6% year over year in the second quarter of this year.

  • ByteDance has affirmed its commitment to the VR business Pico, refuting reports of its gradual shutdown.

  • Pico holds the largest market share for VR headsets in China.

  • ByteDance plans to continue investing in extended reality (XR) over the long term.


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