Meta to Make Comeback in China? Company Closing In on Deal With Tencent to Sell MR Headsets

Meta Platforms Inc. is close to reaching a deal that will bring its mixed reality headset to China through a partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd.

| Updated on: Nov 11 2023, 06:35 IST
Meta kills off Dead and Buried, Bogo, and more on Oculus Rift, Quest VR headsets
1/5 As per a report by UploadVR, Meta is discontinuing 3 of its games for the Oculus Rift and Quest VR headsets - Dead and Buried, Dead and Buried II, and Bogo. All three games will not be supported after March 15, 2024. (Bloomberg)
2/5 Meta sent out notices to the owners of these games via email. Meta’s policy requires it to inform game owners 180 days in advance before shutting down games. The company has also removed them from the Oculus store and they cannot be purchased from now on. This development comes after Meta shut down another popular Oculus game, Echo VR, in February. (REUTERS)
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3/5 Dead and Buried - Dead and Buried is a Western multiplayer shooter where you are put in a world full of gunslingers and ghosts in Dead and Buried. Players can live out their Wild West fantasies such as robbing a train, dueling with other players, or team up and take on hordes of creatures. (Meta store)
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4/5 Dead and Buried II - A sequel to 2016’s Dead and Buried, Dead and Buried II takes the Western gunslinging of the previous game and dials it up a notch. Players can choose from 6 gunslingers in this multiplayer action shooter to become the best gunslinger in the Wild West, while also battling it out against the undead. (Meta store)
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5/5 Bogo - Bogo is a single-player virtual pet simulator featuring a scaling play area. Players can create their pets, and nurture them, with available actions such as feeding them, giving them belly rubs, and more. (Meta store)
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Under the agreement, Tencent would manufacture a version of a headset using Meta’s hardware specifications and software. (REUTERS)

 Meta Platforms Inc. is close to reaching a deal that will bring its mixed reality headset to China through a partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Under the agreement, Tencent would manufacture a version of a headset using Meta's hardware specifications and software, a person familiar with the conversations said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public. The headset is proposed to be branded and marketed under the Tencent name, the person said, while cautioning that talks aren't finalized, the plan could change and a decision hasn't been made on the name or branding.

Meta didn't respond to a request for comment. Tencent didn't immediately have a statement. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Meta plans to sell virtual-reality headsets in China with Tencent.

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A partnership with Tencent may mark a comeback of sorts for Meta in China. Both Meta's Facebook and Instagram were blocked from running in China years ago, according to the US International Trade Commission. The partnership would also bring together two major contenders in the metaverse space. Last year, Tencent was said to be considering a deal to acquire Chinese gaming handset maker Black Shark, a move that was seen as potentially helping the tech behemoth further its ambitions for the metaverse. 

Meta is similarly seeking out relationships with contract manufacturers or original equipment makers, known as an OEMs, around the world, according to the person familiar with the company's plans.

In September, Meta debuted a new generation head-worn device called the Quest 3. It raised the price of its mass-market headset to $500. 

Meta's relations with China have proven tenuous at times. In August, Meta said it had intercepted a Chinese influence campaign that it described as the “largest known cross-platform covert influence operation in the world.” The social media company removed more than 7,700 Facebook accounts and 954 pages linked to the campaign, which spread positive commentary about China along with criticisms of the US, Western foreign policies, and critics of the Chinese government. 

Meta said its investigation found links between the campaign and individuals associated with Chinese law enforcement.  

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First Published Date: 11 Nov, 06:35 IST