Chinese company Pico is owned by ByteDance (the owner of TikTok) and produces virtual reality headsets that are potential competitors to the Oculus Quest. For example, the Pico 4 headset is lightweight at 295g and has a relatively reasonable price of $420. However, difficult times have come for the company and it has initiated a new round of layoffs, the resource reported TechCrunch.
According to a TechCrunch source, Pico held an internal meeting this week to announce a major restructuring. The source claims he will be fired “several hundred” Employees, bring in Pico’s employees “less than 2000” Human.
A Pico spokesman said the department would focus on restructuring “Hardware and core technologies.” “We frequently assess our business needs and make adjustments to strengthen our organization and better align our teams with business goals.” – he said.
Sales of Pico products fell short of expectations given China’s weak economic recovery from the pandemic. According to Counterpoint, VR headset shipments to China fell 56% year-over-year in the first half of 2023. This recession “marked the end of the Chinese virtual reality market’s two-year growth streak from 2020 to 2022 and its return to stagnation.” stated in the Counterpoint report.
The decline in supply is partly due to Chinese consumers cutting back on spending as the economy weakens. As mentioned in Counterpoint, Pico had to reduce its marketing investments in the face of difficult economic conditions, which resulted in a reduction in planned deliveries. The decline in supply was also influenced by the lack of high-quality VR content required for mass adoption of headsets. In this situation, Pico decided to focus on improving its VR headset instead of investing heavily in content creation.
VR headset sales in China have also been affected by strict market regulation, according to Gavin Newton-Tanzer, presenter of the AWE Asia mixed reality conference “with complex content review processes and legally limited viewing times.” “I firmly believe that the breakthrough for the consumer VR market in China will come, and not in 2023.” In this context, Pico’s decision to It makes sense to wait and concentrate on the hardware.” – said the expert.