(CTN News) – A deal between Meta Platforms and Tencent Holdings has been struck in order to sell a new, low-cost virtual reality (VR) headset in China as Meta Platforms attempts to regain a foothold in a market where Facebook and Instagram have been blocked, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This preliminary agreement will see Tencent become the exclusive seller of Meta’s headsets in China, the Journal reports, citing sources, adding that the Chinese video game maker will begin selling the headset from late 2024 onwards.
It was not mentioned in the report how much the headset might cost.
Beijing blocked Facebook and Twitter as well as other social networking sites in mid-2009 following deadly riots in the western province of Xinjiang, which authorities say were sparked by the social networking sites.
As a result of the VR deal, Meta will have the chance to return to the Chinese market and compete with Bytedance, a company owned by TikTok and which makes the VR headset Pico.
The nascent VR space is currently riding high with the success of Quest, which is currently a bestseller. A couple of months ago, Quest 3 was unveiled as the next-generation mixed reality headset from the company.
For China, Meta plans to use lenses in its headset that are cheaper than those that come with the Quest 3, according to the Wall Street Journal. It is also expected that this version will be sold in other markets as well.
According to the report, Meta will take a bigger share of revenue from the sales of the headsets, while Tencent will take a larger share of revenue from content and service sales, with the cheaper headsets also including games and other apps published by the Chinese company.
In response to Reuters’ requests for comment, neither Meta nor Tencent responded within the hour to the requests for comment.