ByteDance, renowned for TikTok, has made another venture into the metaverse space with the acquisition of virtual reality (VR) startup PoliQ. It was absorbed into VR headset company Pico, which ByteDance had acquired in August 2021.
Ma Jiesi, the founder of PoliQ, is now the head of the social center department Pico. He was the former director at Xiaomi’s VR unit where he oversaw the smartphone maker’s collaboration with headset giant Oculus in 2018 and the launch of the Chinese version of Facebook’s Oculus Go.
ByteDance has been expanding its metaverse portfolio – including hardware, platforms, and content. Its latest acquisition of PoliQ for USD 72 million is seen as the first major investment by a Chinese tech giant into the metaverse hardware sector. ByteDance has enhanced its support for the VR unit. And earlier this year, it announced plans to work with Qualcomm to advance metaverse-related extended reality technologies. ByteDance launched a virtual social platform in January for a select group of users to explore the social networking functions of the metaverse. The tech giant also introduced a fashion app to test the waters in the fashion metaverse.
In the west, tech firms are also actively rolling out metaverse-related initiatives. Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, plans to conduct metaverse-related workshops and exhibitions in Hong Kong. It wants to explore the use of technology in people’s daily lives. Furthermore, Yahoo intends to test new marketing methods in the immersive virtual world.