Sina Tech reported on Tuesday that Tencent has launched a new business – Extended Reality (XR) – and has recently started an internal reshuffling of staff to take on the new business. Tencent has not responded to this report yet.
Sina Tech’s sources said that Tencent‘s XR business was launched for the “complete reality of Internet”, with the goal of building a world-class hard technology team under the guidance of industry leaders. This business will focus on XR hardware devices, perceptual interaction technology, and ecology integrating content and development.
Tencent‘s internal reorganization will cover over 40 posts in three departments – content ecology, operations and technological R&D.
The company also plans to set up an XR game studio with its executive chosen from amongst those already working within the company. Tencent has prepared several postings for the business, including operations, investment, software, algorithms, hardware, optics, structure, quality engineering and others.
XR is regarded as the entry point of the metaverse by many Internet companies, but within Tencent itself the XR business is being regarded as one of the carriers of “the complete reality of the Internet”. At the end of 2020, Pony Ma, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, pointed out in an internal publication that “an exciting opportunity is coming, and the mobile Internet will usher in new upgrades after ten years of development. We will call this the ‘complete reality of the Internet’.”
On November 3, 2021, at the Tencent Digital Ecology Conference held in Wuhan, Tencent first explained the concept. Zhang Zhengyou, chief scientist of Tencent, said that a “complete reality of the Internet” means connecting the real world and virtual or digital world. “Complete reality” refers to the more comprehensive integration of online and offline, connecting people, information, things, services and manufacturing more and more closely.
It has been reported that Tencent is interested in buying smartphone brand Black Shark which has explored its own venture into the XR business. Tencent‘s competitor, ByteDance, is also accelerating the layout of XR. In January 2022, ByteDance invested in Hangzhou Liweike Technology Co., Ltd., which is committed to XR and plans to launch a pair of XR glasses that can be mass produced. Prior to this, in September 2021, ByteDance spent huge sums of money to acquire Pico, a VR company.