Tencent may acquire BlackShark – here’s what we know

(Image credit: Future)

Chinese tech company Tencent is reportedly in advanced discussion with Xiaomi to acquire its gaming smartphone brand BlackShark.

Multiple media reports hint that the WeChat-owner wants to expand its horizons to virtual reality and metaverse. Tencent’s President Martin Lau had recently said that the “game-like immersive digital experience powered by virtual and augmented technology — has potential for gaming business opportunities.”

Hence, if the acquisition happens, Tencent may pivot BlackShark from making Android-powered gaming phones to virtual reality devices and content creation for these devices. The parent company in that case may provide the software support for these devices.

In case you’ve not heard much about BlackShark, we won’t blame you as well. The company primarily makes high-end gaming smartphones that compete with the Asus ROG Phone, Nubia Red Magic and Lenovo Legion phones. 

Its phones are largely sold in China apart from probably a handful of international markets. Xiaomi-backed BlackShark did venture into the Indian market and thanks to a lukewarm response, it silently quit as well.

To recall, both Tencent and BlackShark collaborated on a gaming phone around Tencent’s mobile game called “Peacekeeper Elite” and now Tencent might be looking to acquire the smartphone maker.

One of the many in the race to the virtual verse 

For those who do not know, the word metaverse doesn’t have a set definition and is generally used to describe a virtual universe and can be accessed using virtual reality headsets and goggles. In other words, it is going to be sort of a parallel universe where you can spend time with your friends, family members and will be able to work, play, shop and more but virtually.

While a lot of companies are looking for a head start in this virtual reality/augmented reality space, Facebook’s parent company Meta is already leading the way. The company already owns Oculus that makes standalone VR headsets.

With the acquisition of BlackShark, Tencent has a forte in software, wants to replicate the same. Though according to Tencent’s president, the Chinese metaverse might look and feel totally different to what we see in other countries.

Another Chinese company Bytedance, which owns TikTok, announced its intentions by acquiring a Chinese VR headset maker Pico last year. HTC is yet another brand that makes VR headsets and its Vive Flow is said to be an attempt at embracing metaverse.

Since metaverse will not be owned by a company and will be a result of efforts put in by creators and is, as of now, at a nascent stage, global tech companies are trying to outbid each other in this virtual war for a virtual world.

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Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.