TikTok parent company ByteDance is apparently planning to expand its virtual reality operations in the U.S.

After acquiring VR headset company Pico last year, China-based ByteDance is preparing to invest “tons of money” into VR-based games and encounters, sources told tech outlet Protocol.

As part of its expansion, ByteDance is at present making a sizable hiring push on the West Coast, where it has work listings for in excess of 40 positions — including jobs related to content, hardware and sales — in California and Washington. According to Protocol, ByteDance has also moved some TikTok workers over to Pico, like business advancement chief Sally Wang.

TikTok’s parent company is gearing up to invest a lot of money in VR

ByteDance’s ambitions for Pico signal a willingness to rival Meta in the virtual reality-powered metaverse. Sources told Protocol that Pico is willing to spend on VR content titles that have already been authorized to Meta and also clash on hardware, where its Neo 3 Link headset is disadvantaged by a greater cost point (450 euros, or about $480) compared to Meta’s Quest 2 ($299).

TikTok has made its own forays into VR and augmented reality (AR) via Effect House, a platform that allows clients to create their own AR impacts on the video-sharing app. In any case, its investments actually lag far behind those of Meta, which will apparently pour $10 billion to $15 billion this year on its VR, AR and metaverse endeavors, including on additional hardware and new features.

TikTok’s parent company is gearing up to invest a lot of money in VR

And Meta isn’t Pico’s just contest in the space: Snap has also made VR and AR a vital part of its new item offerings Discover a ‘Turo’, while entertainment giants like Disney have made no confidential of their plans for the metaverse.
It seems to be a large part of ByteDance’s investment is going into hiring. As indicated by Protocol, north of 40 work listings have sprung up for Pico, the Chinese VR headset maker ByteDance acquired last year. Most openings are for Pico Studios’ west coast-based branches in California and Washington, ranging from a head of VR game strategy to a game operation manager. Other open positions recommend an increased spotlight on Pico’s VR hardware, including an optical engineer and a frameworks plan electrical engineer.

Protocol also points to Pico’s head of shopper sales listing as a potential indicator that Pico is looking to establish a presence in the US. The expected set of responsibilities takes note of that candidates will be “answerable for the sales and marketing of Pico’s overall item in the US customer market.”

Pico actually has a lot of growing to do, and ByteDance certainly has the bandwidth to give it the push it necessities to contend with the handful of mainstream headsets offered by Meta, HTC, Valve, and PlayStation in the US. The company’s flagship all-in-one headset, the Pico Neo 3 Link, launched in Europe in May and costs €449 (~$472 USD).

Additionally, the reports points Pico’s listing of head of customer sales as a potential indicator that the VR headset maker is hoping to set up a presence in the US. Specifically, the set of working responsibilities shows how the candidates would be ‘answerable for the sales and marketing’ of the company’s total item in the American shopper market.

Pico clearly still has a lot of growing to do:
With far to go for Pico, ByteDance, then again, certainly has the bandwidth to give the push it expects to rival the group of mainstream headsets offered in the US by PlayStation, Meta, HTC and Valve. Pico’s flagship all-in-one headset launched in Europe in May, Pico Neo 3 and cost 449 euros ($472).

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