TikTok owner ByteDance acquires Pico and takes the first step towards VR


A visitor tries out a VR headset at the Pico Technology booth during 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 takeover of the start-up Pico.

Zhang Canlong | Visual China Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – TikTok owner ByteDance has made its first foray into virtual reality (VR) by acquiring a startup called Pico.

Beijing-based ByteDance did not disclose the scope of the deal, but said in a statement that Pico’s “extensive suite of software and hardware technologies and the talent and expertise of the team made both our entry into the VR space and long term Investing in this emerging field. “

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, according to IDC.

ByteDance was successful with the short video app TikTok and the Chinese version Douyin as well as the news aggregation app Toutiao.

The acquisition of Pico is a push to diversify the business.

In March, ByteDance acquired a large mobile gaming studio called Moonton for a reported $ 4 billion to expand into the gaming space.

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

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