Nov 9 (Reuters) – Meta Platforms (META.O) has struck a deal with Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) to sell a new low-cost virtual reality (VR) headset in China, as it tries to get back into the world of virtual reality. A market where Facebook and Instagram remain banned, the Wall Street Journal reports mentioned Thursday.
The initial deal will make Tencent the exclusive seller of the Meta headset in China, the newspaper said, citing sources, adding that the Chinese video game maker will begin selling the headset starting in late 2024.
The report did not mention the potential price of the headset.
Beijing banned Facebook and Twitter in mid-2009 following bloody riots in the western region of Xinjiang that authorities say were incited by social media sites.
The VR deal gives Meta a chance to return to the Chinese market and compete with TikTok owner Bytedance, which makes the Pico VR headset.
Meta’s Quest is currently the best-seller in the emerging virtual reality field. The company unveiled the next generation of the Quest 3 mixed reality headset earlier this year.
For China, Meta plans to use lenses in the headset that are cheaper than those on the Quest 3, according to the Wall Street Journal. This version will also be sold in other markets.
The report added that Meta will capture a larger share of hardware sales, while Tencent will capture more content and service revenue, with the cheaper headset also providing games and other applications published by the Chinese company.
Meta and Tencent did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Preparing by Muhammad for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Rashmi Aish, Mrjank Dhaniwala and Sonia Cheema
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