One of China’s leading tech giants has acquired another electronics firm in a bid to push for the development of a mainland extended reality (XR) industry, it was reported on Monday.
According to 6Kr, Tencent, one of China’s top technology companies, has launched plans to buy out gaming smartphone firm Black Shark to create a product lineup of VR hardware devices.
The report states Tencent will merge the enterprise into its business group, headed by Ren Yuxin, COO and President of Tencent Holding’s Interactive Entertainment Group and Mobile Internet Group, allowing it to expand from producing smartphones to virtual reality (VR) devices.
Sources indicate Chinese giant “Tencent” plans to acquire Black Shark Technology, a gaming mobile phone company
After the acquisition, Black Shark will be entirely transitioned to making VR hardware devices
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It added the Shenzhen-based firm would provide content for Black Shark’s future VR devices. Xiaomi’s Tianjin Venture Capital Industrial Co established the smartphone business in 2017.
A source commented on Black Shark as quoted by 36Kr, stating,
“Black Shark is valued at 3 billion yuan ($470.78 million), and Tencent has cut it to about 2.6-2.7 billion yuan ($408.01-423.7 million)”
The news comes after Martin Lau, President of Tencent, stressed his company’s plans in November to develop and create technologies for the Metaverse, namely after the firm registered several trademarks for QQ, Tianmei, and King Metaverse platforms.
At the time, he said in a statement Tencent had “a lot of the technology and know-how building blocks” to explore and develop Metaverse platforms, adding Beijing would back the efforts under its regulatory framework and that similar firms in China may follow separate mainland and global regulations.
China’s XR Industry Gains ‘Steam’
The news also comes as Chinese tech firms push to create an interoperable ecosystem of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) devices capable of competing in global markets.
TikTok owner ByteDance bought out Pico Interactive for $1.4 billion USD (9 billion Yuan) in August to compete with Meta Platforms, Inc after the latter announced it had shifted to building the Metaverse and later, rebranded as a Metaverse firm in October.
Alibaba Group Holdings also announced plans to create a set of DingTalk-backed AR smart glasses for virtual enterprise meetings and expand the mainland’s Metaverse solutions, reports found last week.
Black Shark’s parent company, Xiaomi, also launched a new pair of standalone AR smart glasses in September with MicroLED optics and a 180-degree field of view (FoV), rivalling Nreal and others.
Huawei Technologies, one of the mainland’s top five firms, also debuted plans at a major event in November to release its gaming VR Glass head-mounted display (HMD).
The new device offers a lightweight form factor of 188 grammes, Type-C tethering to Huawei smartphones and PCs, as well as 6 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) for full immersive body tracking.