Chinese virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturer Pico has Friday said that it is laying off a small number of people. This comes after the local media reports saying the firm owned by TikTok’s parent ByteDance started laying off hundreds earlier this week.
ByteDance acquired Pico in 2021 in a purchase that was largely perceived as competition against the virtual world metaverse concept started by Meta Platforms, which makes its own VR headsets, says a report by news agency Reuters. Earlier on Thursday, the South China Morning Post had reported that the job cuts could affect a substantial portion of Pico, with some teams trimmed by as much as 30 per cent.
Most former employees will be compensated based on the number of years they have served plus one month’s salary, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.
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However, according to Reuters on Friday a company spokesperson said, “While we continue to hire as a business globally, we are streamlining our team and, as a result, parting ways with a small number of colleagues…We greatly appreciate these colleagues’ contributions and are working closely with those impacted to support them through this time of change.”
Over 200 employees were affected, a person familiar with the matter told the news agency.
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The employment cuts are ByteDance’s most recent streamlining effort; like many of its Chinese tech competitors, it has been undergoing reorganisation and job cuts since last year as the country’s economic growth slows, the report said. Adding that 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.
Many of the biggest names in technology around the globe are making cuts in preparation for a difficult economic climate.