By Josh Ye
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Pico, a virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturer owned by TikTok’s Chinese developer ByteDance, said on Friday it was laying off a small number of people, after local media reported the start of hundreds of redundancies earlier this week.
The South China Morning Post reported unidentified sources on Thursday as saying Pico had trimmed some teams by as much as 30%.
“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,” a Pico spokesperson said in a statement.
“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 Reuters.
ByteDance bought Pico in 2021 in a deal widely interpreted as a bet on the metaverse concept of virtual worlds, putting the tech giant in competition with U.S. social media firm Meta Platforms Inc which has its own VR devices.
The layoffs mark the latest streamlining for ByteDance, which like many tech peers in China has cut jobs since last year and undergone restructuring as economic growth slows.
On Thursday, Tencent Holdings Ltd said it was making some personnel adjustments after local media reported the Chinese gaming and social media major was laying off staff in its recently formed “extended reality” (XR) business.
(Reporting by Josh Ye; Editing by Christopher Cushing)