ByteDance, owner of TikTok, acquires Pico and makes its first foray into virtual reality

ByteDance, owner of TikTok, acquires Pico and makes its first foray into virtual reality

A visitor tries out a VR headset at Pico Technology’s booth at the China 5G and Industrial Internet conference on November 19, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. ByteDance made its first foray into virtual reality (VR) with the acquisition of the start-up Pico.

Zhang Canlong | China Visual Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – ByteDance, owner of TikTok, made its first foray into virtual reality (VR) with the acquisition of a start-up called Pico.

ByteDance, headquartered in Beijing, did not disclose the size of the deal, but said in a statement that “Pico’s broad suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as the talent and in-depth expertise of team, will support both our foray into the VR space and the global market. ‚ÄĚLong-term investment in this emerging industry.

According to IDC, Pico was the third largest manufacturer of virtual reality headsets in the world in the first quarter of 2021, with shipments growing 44.7% year-over-year.

ByteDance has found success with the short video app TikTok and the Chinese version of Douyin, as well as the news aggregator app Toutiao.

The acquisition of Pico is a push to diversify its activities.

In March, ByteDance acquired a large mobile games studio called Montone for $ 4 billion, as it seeks to expand into games.

ByteDance’s acquisition of Pico could pit it against Facebook’s Oculus VR division. Last year, Apple bought a virtual reality company NextVR, sparking speculation it could work on its own VR headsets.

“We are optimistic about the future of virtual reality and its alignment with our mission,” said a spokesperson for ByteDance.

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