Tencent reportedly plans to bring Meta’s Quest 2 to China.
Last week Reuters reported Tencent is scrapping its own in-development VR headset due to the high cost of the project and internal projections that it wouldn’t be profitable until 2027. Chinese outlet 36Kr now reports that Tencent plans to work to bring Quest 2 to the Chinese market instead.
To sell many kinds of products in China, foreign companies must partner with a Chinese company or set up a local subsidiary. Tencent would thus sell and support Quest 2 in China, while the report says both companies would work together on localization and translation of Quest Store content. Tencent is also apparently discussing launching its own VR content on Quest.
As the report points out, this wouldn’t be a new type of arrangement for Tencent as it has already been selling and supporting the Nintendo Switch to the Chinese market since 2019. The executive put in charge of Tencent’s new VR venture is apparently the same one who handled the Nintendo partnership.
The report also claims Tencent had battled with ByteDance to acquire the Chinese VR market leader Pico in 2021 but lost because ByteDance’s bid was significantly higher. Given that Pico last year expanded from the China market into several western markets like Europe and Japan, it’s interesting that Meta could now be poised to take on Pico in its home turf. Meanwhile, Pico is reportedly laying off hundreds of staff just four months after the release of Pico 4.
No timeline is given for when Quest 2 could launch in China in the report, which begs the question: with Quest 3 less than 10 months out, why wouldn’t Tencent just wait for it first?