Meta To Re-Enter China With VR Headsets

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Notably, in mid-2009, Beijing blocked Facebook and Twitter following deadly riots in Xinjiang province, with authorities citing the role of these social networking sites in abetting the unrest.

Meta has partnered with Tencent Holdings to launch a new, affordable virtual reality (VR) headset in China. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Tencent will be the exclusive distributor in China, with sales starting in late 2024. 

This move marks Meta’s return to China after 14 years, positioning it to compete with Bytedance’s VR headset, Pico. Facebook and Instagram remain blocked in China.

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Facebook’s Oculus VR system (Credit: https://swiftinformer.com)

The agreement gives Meta a larger share of device sales, while Tencent will earn more from content and services. The headset is expected to offer games and apps from Tencent. This development coincides with Meta facing competition from Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset, Vision Pro. Quest currently leads the VR market, according to IDC.

This deal emerges amid heightened U.S.-China tensions following U.S. export restrictions on high-end technology. The new headset for China will reportedly use less expensive lenses than the Quest 3 and will be available in other markets as well.

The price of the new headset wasn’t disclosed. Both Meta and Tencent haven’t commented on this. Meta currently sells its Quest 2 headset in the U.S. for $300 and the Quest Pro for $1,000, with the Quest 3 priced at $500.

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