Pico, a VR Company Owned by ByteDance to Streamline Operations with Minor Layoffs”

Unnamed sources told The South China Morning Post on Thursday that Pico has reduced certain squads by as much as 30%.

As local media reported the beginning of hundreds of layoffs earlier this week, Pico, a virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturer owned by TikTok’s Chinese creator ByteDance, announced on Friday that it was cutting off a limited number of staff members.

Unnamed sources told The South China Morning Post on Thursday that Pico has reduced certain squads by as much as 30%.

A Pico spokeswoman stated in a statement that “although we continue to hire as a business globally, we are downsizing our workforce and, as a result, we are parting ways with a limited number of colleagues.”

We are grateful for the contributions made by these coworkers, and we are collaborating closely with the affected parties to help them get through this transition.

Some 200 employees were impacted, a person with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

ByteDance acquired Pico in 2021 in a purchase that was largely perceived as a wager on the virtual world metaverse concept, pitting the internet behemoth against American social network company Meta Platforms Inc., which makes its own VR headsets.

The employment cuts are ByteDance’s most recent streamlining effort; like many of its Chinese tech competitors, it has been undergoing reorganization and job cuts since last year as the country’s economic growth slows.

Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced certain personnel changes on Thursday after local media reported that the Chinese gaming and social media giant was firing employees from its recently established “extended reality” (XR) unit.

According to Pico’s CEO, Henry Zhou, “This restructuring is an important step for Pico as we continue to grow and develop as a company. We are confident that these changes will help us to operate more efficiently and to better align our operations with our long-term goals.

The news of Pico’s restructuring has been met with mixed reactions from the tech community, with some expressing concern about the impact of the layoffs on affected employees, while others have expressed support for the move, seeing it as a necessary step for the company’s long-term success.

Overall, it remains to be seen what the long-term impact of Pico’s restructuring will be, but the company’s commitment to maintaining high standards of quality and to supporting its employees through this process is certainly a positive sign for the future.


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