Home GRASP GRASP/China Facebook finds a way into China by partnering Xiaomi to introduce virtual...

Facebook finds a way into China by partnering Xiaomi to introduce virtual reality headsets


Facebook ties up with Xiaomi to produce the popular Oculus headset for the China market. The social media giant has tried for years to gain entry to China, where it is blocked.
Facebook, which has been wooing the Chinese market for years, has found a way into the world’s most populous country by partnering with Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi for a virtual reality headset.
On Monday at the CES technology show in Las Vegas, Facebook announced that Xiaomi will make the hardware for its US$199 Oculus Go portable virtual reality (VR) headset. The California-based company will also jointly launch the Mi VR stand-alone virtual reality headset with Xiaomi, a separate headset targeted at the Chinese market but running on Oculus’ technology.
The Mi VR stand-alone headset will allow Oculus developers to launch their content on Xiaomi’s VR platform, giving Facebook a way around internet regulators in a country where strict censorship laws mean that US apps such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are blocked.
Facebook’s vice president of VR Hugo Barra, who on Monday announced the partnership, is a former Xiaomi executive who oversaw the Chinese firm’s rapid international expansion.
“Through our partnership with Xiaomi, both Oculus Go and Mi VR stand-alone represent our first step in delivering that sweet spot between mobile and PC VR. These devices will be, hands down, the easiest way to get into VR,” said Barra.
Xiaomi designs and sells smartphones, tablets, fitness trackers, and apps. Since its launch in Beijing 2010, the company has gone on to become one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world, challenging Apple and Samsung for market share, particularly in China and Southeast Asia.

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