Tencent Considers Developing a VR Version of WeChat

Instead of typing, talking to your friends and families via voice or video calls, in the future you might be able to have a “face-to-face” conversation on a VR social media platform even if you are apart.

“I think it is high time that Tencent thinks about developing a VR version of WeChat,” said Tencent CEO Pony Ma at China’s 5th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen on Nov. 7.

SEE ALSO: Tencent Becomes Shareholder of Skydance Media, Plans Entrance to Film and VR

As China’s most popular messaging service, WeChat has about one billion monthly active users (MAU), taking up 24 percent of Chinese netizens’ online surfing time, according to chyxx.com, an industry information website.

Tencent, the owner and operator of WeChat, is rich in application scenarios, such as live sports streaming and concerts.

Although Tencent CPO Zhang Jun clarified later that it does not mean Tencent is going to present a VR WeChat next year, the company has been getting its foot in the door.

In 2015, Tencent launched its VR website, claiming “the future is now.” The company started to build a VR ecosystem with VR equipments, software development kit (SDK) components and levels of VR developers.

pony ma tencent vr
Pony Ma, CEO of  Tencent

“We hope that Tencent can bring its users true VR experiences, and we will build samples. I believe they will be mature within the next two or three years,” said Ma at the World Internet Conference of 2016.

Tian Gang, Tencent‘s smart innovation department leader, explained the company’s plan on VR as developing a working prototype, applying VR in games and encouraging the industry to grow by collaboration in Tencent Global Partner Conference 2016.

The company was reported by the Financial Times last year poised to launch a virtual reality headset. An internal research team was working on PC-based and mobile VR headsets.