American tech giant Meta (formerly known as Facebook) is actively pursuing a comeback in the Chinese market by seeking partnerships with prominent tech companies. The social media giant’s current focus lies on introducing its VR headsets to Chinese consumers, and significant headway has been made in discussions with Tencent, a major player in China’s video game industry.
The groundwork for this venture was previously laid in late 2021 when Meta initiated talks with various Chinese tech firms, including Tencent, Lenovo Group, and some smartphone manufacturers. Among these potential partners, Tencent ultimately gave the green light to proceed with negotiations to explore potential deals with Meta.
As negotiations continue, it has been rumoured that an agreement between Meta and Tencent may grant the Chinese company exclusive rights to distribute Meta’s VR headsets within the country. This exclusive deal could extend to include Meta’s highly anticipated Quest 3 headset, which would strengthen Tencent’s position in China’s VR market.
However, the latest move has not been received with open arms by everyone. According to Bloomberg, state-backed media slammed Meta’s founder Mark Zuckerburg for his previous criticisms of Chinese censorship and alleged intellectual property theft.
According to a WeChat post that received over 100,000 views, the CCP-backed newspaper Beijing Daily remarked that Zuckerberg “dropped a rock on his own foot”. The post continued, “You smashed the wok, and now you want to enjoy a Chinese meal?”
Despite challenges from Zuckerburg’s complex relationship with China, the Meta-Tencent collaboration has the potential to revolutionise China’s VR landscape. That being said, both companies will undoubtedly face regulatory hurdles specific to the Chinese market, making the execution of the partnership a closely watched development in the tech world.