Tianyancha, a Chinese company aggregating enterprise data, revealed that ByteDance would have acquired, in the week of June 20, PoliQ, a start-up specializing in virtual reality (VR). The transaction, which testifies to the Chinese giant’s growing interest in the metaverse, would amount to ” tens of millions of yuan “.
PoliQ acquired by ByteDance
PoliQ, behind the virtual social platform Vyou, joins the ranks of the branch dedicated to virtual reality of ByteDance. The newly acquired start-up will be absorbed by Pico, a company designing VR headsets, itself acquired in August 2021 by the behemoth of the Middle Empire. The acquisition of Pico had marked the entry of ByteDance into the field of virtual reality.
The acquisition of PoliQ is accompanied by a restructuring of the teams of Pico, the third largest manufacturer of VR headsets in the world. Ma Jiesi, founder of PoliQ, will be named head of VR innovations. This former director in charge of virtual reality at Xiaomi participated, in 2018, in the development of a collaboration between the electronics giant and the manufacturer of helmets Oculus. He then launched the Chinese version of Facebook’s Oculus Go, which later became one of the best-selling VR devices in the Chinese market.
ByteDance wants to create its metaverse
As the notion of metaverse continues to gain momentum and some Chinese companies like Baidu position themselves in this growing market, ByteDance also wants its share of the spoils. By investing in Pico and then PoliQ, it intends to develop new virtual reality devices that will serve as an access point to this digital universe.
To develop his own vision of the metaverse, the Beijing-based company partnered with Qualcomm in March 2022. This partnership with the American company, known for its processors, should help ByteDance to develop immersive technologies, hardware and software that will be used to develop this interconnected virtual world. An alliance that could allow it to catch up with its local competitors Tencent and Baidu.
The concept of metaverse remains, to this day, still very nebulous. This is why big names in the industry such as Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games or even Nvidia have formed the Metaverse Standards Forum consortium. Its objective is to define the rules and standards that will make up the metaverse of tomorrow. This in order to ensure that the different universes are interoperable while being as accessible as possible. If some Chinese companies were also in the game like Huawei, this is not the case of ByteDance which is, for the moment, only at the beginning of the development of its metaverse.