Tech giant Tencent plans to purchase Black Shark, a Chinese company that makes gaming handsets. Insiders who wish to remain anonymous told Bloomberg that this business deal will bring Tencent a step further toward its metaverse goal. The two companies are currently in talks to negotiate an agreement.
Once the deal goes through, Black Shark will turn away from making gaming phones and begin manufacturing VR headsets for Tencent.
As one of China’s largest tech firms, Tencent is a serious contender in metaverse creation. The metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual environment in which users interact via avatars. Experts believe the metaverse to be the future of the internet, many of which already exist.
Martin Lau, president of Tencent, cautions that the metaverse will likely take longer than hypothesized to be fully realized. However, Lau does believe the metaverse to be “a real opportunity,” according to a recent earnings call.
Tencent And Black Shark’s Previous Collaboration
The potential buyout isn’t the first interaction between the two companies. Just last year, Tencent and Black Shark collaborated on a gaming phone. Black Shark is also known for creating accessories and controllers.
The metaverse requires the creation of new unique hardware to thrive. Last year ByteDance Ltd. Took a step towards the metaverse by buying VR headset manufacturer, Pico. While Meta’s made its move in 2014, purchasing Oculus, a well-known creator of VR headsets. Even Apple has a VR headset in the works.
In China, Tencent publishes the Roblox platform, which is currently hiring developers. Relating to its metaverse, the company already has trademarks for music and social apps. As it stands, Tencent is closer to realizing the metaverse than its competitor, Meta.
However, Beijing’s strict policies for online content complicate things. While Tencent runs Roblox in China, the platform is separate from the global version. Unless China is willing to allow Tencent to operate its metaverse as a worldwide platform, the company will only serve its home country, leaving a large gap for competitors to fill.