According to reports, Tencent and Bytedance, two Chinese tech giants, are planning to execute a significant number of job cuts in their metaverse divisions. Tencent recognized it is making some staff adjustments, amidst rumors of hundreds of layoffs in its extended reality division, while Bytedance is also planning to cut staff in Pico, its metaverse headset subsidiary.
Tencent and Bytedance Reportedly Shedding Metaverse-Dedicated Staff
Tencent and Bytedance, two of the biggest Chinese tech companies, are planning to execute hundreds of layoffs in their metaverse development groups according to various reports. Tencent, which is most known for its software business, is currently abandoning its plans to get into the metaverse hardware market, affecting hundreds of employees at the company.
According to local outlets, the company told more than 300 employees that they should be searching for new work opportunities and that the extended reality division, dedicated to the development of metaverse products, would be disbanded. The company confirmed it was making staff adjustments as its plans had changed, but dismissed the idea that the aforementioned group would be disbanded.
Tencent had been working on a dedicated metaverse ring controller, but the initiative was abandoned due to the large investment needed for its construction, and the unfavorable forecast for its profitability. The sources stated:
Under the company’s new strategy as a whole, it no longer quite fit in.
Bytedance Facing Woes
Bytedance’s Pico, the metaverse headset hardware division, is also facing similar difficulties, planning to cut hundreds of jobs. According to the South China Morning Post, some groups of the company are expected to lose 30% of their employees due to these layoffs, which could also reach into higher-level positions.
The company released its latest Pico series recently, hoping to develop a foothold in Asian markets. The launch had been successful, with reports claiming that the company held 15% of the VR headset market, compared to the almost 85% controlled by Meta’s offerings. Henry Zhou, founder and CEO of Pico, stated they expected to sell more than 1 million headset units.
These reports come during a worldwide push for big companies to cut their efforts in making metaverse-based hardware and software, reducing expenses in the field. Microsoft and Meta, two western tech behemoths, have also executed similar actions.
Microsoft is shutting down several metaverse-focused groups as part of its 10,000-employee layoff round. Meanwhile, Meta, which has anticipated it will continue losing money on the metaverse in 2023, is reportedly planning a new round of layoffs after having executed a trim of 13% of its headcount last year.