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Tencent to Open Metaverse Division, Sources Say

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Tencent Holdings is set to build an extended reality (XR) unit, its immersive wing tasked with developing hardware and software for future metaverse solutions, Reuters reported last week, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

Tencent will form the new XR division under its Interactive Entertainment business group and develop the company’s software and hardware solutions under the leadership of Li Shen, Chief Technology Officer of Tencent Games, the sources explained in the report.

According to the report, the secretive unit will employ over 300 staff amid Tencent’s company-wide staff cuts, and will also evaluate the staff count based on the division’s performance metrics.

The Move to the Metaverse

The move comes as some of the world’s top tech firms launch a massive shift to becoming metaverse firms, namely after Facebook rebranded to Meta Platforms in October last year, triggering other firms to follow.

Microsoft, Disney, Sony Interactive Entertainment, NVIDIA, TikTok owner ByteDance, Apple, HTC VIVE, Nextech AR, and many others have begun exploring potential metaverse solutions, sparking an industry-wide exploration of use cases, applications, technologies, and ecosystems.

The news follows developments from the Chinese gaming and software giant, who said in November last year it would build metaverse services that followed regulations from the Chiense government.

Tencent President Martin Lau said at the time there would be many technologies borrowed from gaming firms used “for the metaverse,” adding he felt his enterprise had “a lot of the technology and know-how building blocks” to explore and develop the Metaverse.

WeChat, Tencent’s widely-used messaging app, temporarily suspended in April numerous user accounts using third-party blockchain services in a crackdown on secondary sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain services, citing concerns over their speculative nature, previous reports found.

 

 

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