Meta Platforms Inc. has a preliminary deal to sell a new, lower-cost version of its virtual-reality headset in China, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night, giving the tech giant access to Chinese consumers for the first time in more than a decade.
The Journal reported Tencent Holdings Ltd. will make Meta’s new headset and be its exclusive seller within China, starting in late 2024. Meta
would get the majority of revenue from device sales, according to the Journal, while Tencent
would make more off content and service revenue. The deal is provisional, the report said, and details could change.
China blocked Facebook in 2009, and Meta’s Instagram and WhatsApp are also banned from China.
The deal with Tencent should open a massive new market for Meta, which has seen lukewarm global sales of its Quest line of VR headsets. The Journal noted the deal may still face regulatory hurdles in China, which in recent years has tightened rules on videogames and other digital content.
According to the Journal, the headset will feature less-expensive lenses than are in the current Quest 3 headset, and the cheaper device will be sold in other markets. The Quest 3 starts at about $500 in the U.S.