China resists Mark Zuckerberg bid to sell Quest headsets: report

China resists Mark Zuckerberg bid to sell Quest headsets: report

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is struggling to get his Quest headsets on shelves in China due to his past criticisms of the Communist-run government, according to a report.

The Facebook co-founder and other Meta executives have contacted Tencent Holdings about bringing his virtual reality headset to a market of more than 1.4 billion people, according to The Wall Street Journal.

But business leaders in China are hesitant to partner with Zuckerberg over his past accusations that the government allows businesses to steal technology and criticism of rival video-sharing platform TikTok.

Beijing officials’ perceptions of Zuckerberg could add uncertainty should Meta and its partner seek licenses and approvals for their products and services in China, The Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The Post has sought comment from Meta Platforms Inc and Tencent.

Since 2009, Facebook and its sister networks Instagram and WhatsApp have been effectively banned in China after the social networks refused to comply with the government’s censorship demands.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is struggling to get his Quest headsets sold in China due to his past criticisms of the government there, according to a report.
Mark Zuckerberg/Instagram

His recent outreach to Tencent may be necessitated by Apple’s entry into the Zuckerberg-dominated metaverse. Apple, which topped $3 trillion in market cap last week, unveiled an augmented reality headset called the Vision Pro.

The headset’s $3,499 price tag is three times the cost of the priciest headset from Meta.

The social media company’s flagship VR headset Meta Quest Pro is currently priced at $999.99, down from its launch price of $1,499.99, and Quest 2 is being sold for $299.99, according to Meta’s website.

Meta in March had cut the prices of its headsets as its bold bets on the metaverse failed to make a big splash.


Zuckerberg is said to be holding talks with Chinese tech firm Tencent on a partnership to market Meta's VR headsets.
Zuckerberg is said to be holding talks with Chinese tech firm Tencent on a partnership to market Meta’s VR headsets.
Getty Images for SXSW

In 2021, Zuckerberg wondered aloud why US tech unicorns such as Tesla and Apple could freely peddle their wares in China while his company was shut out from the Asian giant, The Journal reported.

He has also hit out at TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance, which has eaten into Facebook’s user base.

In 2019, Zuckerberg told students at Georgetown University that TikTok posed a threat to American values and did not share Facebook’s commitment to free expression, The Journal reported.

Zuckerberg is also reported to have personally lobbied then-President Donald Trump as well as lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the potential danger that Chinese tech companies presented to American businesses.

“I think it’s well-documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies,” Zuckerberg told House leaders.


Zuckerberg in years past has spoken critically of Chinese tech firms. Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured.
Zuckerberg in years past has spoken critically of Chinese tech firms. Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured.
AP

Last year, it was learned that Meta hired a top GOP consulting firm to gin up rage against TikTok and deflect political scrutiny away from its two main social media platforms — Facebook and Instagram.

TikTok has been the subject of intense scrutiny from lawmakers over its Chinese corporate parent’s links to the ruling Communist Party in Beijing.

TikTok and ByteDance have long denied claims that American users’ data is vulnerable to collection by the Chinese government.


Source by [New York Post]

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