China’s largest gaming company Tencent is apparently seeking to acquire Black Shark, who make gaming-focused smartphones like the Black Shark 4. Tencent won’t just be dealing with Black Shark though, as the latter also has Xiaomi as part of their investor group and also owns around 46.4% of the gaming smartphone manufacturer. There’s been no comment from Tencent, Black Shark or Xiaomi just yet, but it’s rumoured that the deal will cost Tencent approximately CNY3 billion (~RM1.97 billion).
Curiously, it seems that Tencent isn’t looking to actually move into the smartphone industry. Instead, Tencent currently has grand plans of making their own ‘metaverse’ of sorts to rival Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. As such, Tencent is looking to acquire Black Shark and merge them into the company, and then have Black Shark work on creating and manufacturing VR and AR related accessories. These VR and AR accessories will then be sold to consumers to use together with VR content made by other divisions in Tencent. Tencent President Martin Lau is already calling the metaverse a big opportunity, though he understands that it’ll take quite some time to make the concept a reality.
This move would also mimic that of Meta, who bought Oculus back in 2014. Facebook would later integrate themselves more into Oculus and their products, including requiring Facebook logins to even use Oculus products like the Oculus Quest. Eventually, as the now-named Meta seeks to further develop the metaverse, Meta is dropping the Oculus brand altogether, changing its branding to Meta instead.
As for Black Shark, this wouldn’t be the first time that they’ve dealt with Tencent either. Just last year, Black Shark released a special edition version of the Black Shark 3 Pro dubbed the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 Pro, though it was only released in China.