TikTok-owner ByteDance reportedly shut down rumours it was planning to abandon its VR handset brand Pico, a unit which culled more than 200 employees earlier this year. 

In a statement seen by Reuters, ByteDance said that Pico, which it acquired in 2021, is operating normally and the company remains committed to the XR business in the long term. 

The clarification came after Chinese research company EqualOcean published a statement claiming ByteDance’s CEO had informed an employee that it would eventually abandon the Pico brand due to business expectations not being met in the past few years. 

Local news outlet The Paper also reported the social media giant is currently recalibrating strategies for its VR/XR business and that half of the unit’s workforce had left.

In response, ByteDance said it will “maintain the normal operation of the product” and enhance investment in related technologies. 

Pico sells a range of VR products including headsets, consoles and games as an alternative to Meta Platforms’ Quest, which has yet to officially enter the Chinese market. The business accounts for more 58 per cent of the market share for VR headsets in China.

ByteDance has been promoting Pico to international markets and encouraging more developers to integrate more apps into its ecosystem.