Pico, a virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturer owned by ByteDance, the Chinese developer of TikTok, announced on Friday that it would be laying off some of its employees. Such a statement was caused by reports earlier in the week that hundreds of redundancies were expected. According to unknown sources cited by the South China Morning Post, Pico reduced some teams by as much as 30%.
In a statement, a Pico spokesperson confirmed that the company is streamlining its team and letting go of a small number of colleagues. The spokesperson expressed gratitude for the contributions of the affected employees and emphasized the company's commitment to supporting them during this time of change. According to a source familiar with the matter, over 200 employees were impacted by the layoffs.
In 2021, ByteDance acquired Pico in a move that was widely viewed as a bet on the metaverse, the approach of virtual worlds. This acquisition put ByteDance in competition with Meta Platforms Inc., a US social media firm that also produces VR devices.
The layoffs are part of a broader trend of organizing and restructuring within the Chinese tech industry, driven by slowing economic growth. On Thursday, Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced forthcoming personnel adjustments following reports that it was laying off staff in its "extended reality" (XR) business.
In the end, such change has two sides of the coin. The first one is increasing the company`s effectiveness, but another can bring consequences for the dismissed employees. As well as, the earlier news that Twilio cuts 17% of its workforce is being spread widely.