Chinese internet giant Tencent reportedly plans to bet big on the metaverse — a trending idea on building a virtual world typically with the support of virtual and augmented reality technologies — and is looking to build an advanced gaming studio for that, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Fast facts

  • Tencent recently sent out an internal letter saying it is establishing a new “F1” studio under its unit TiMi Studio Group, according to the report. One employee told the media outlet the new studio is essentially about the metaverse.
  • Last month, multiple local media reported that Tencent was hiring dozens of employees for projects that appeared to be related to the metaverse.
  • Also in September, Chinese game developer Shenzhen Zhong Qing Bao Interactive Network’s stock price soared by the daily limit for two days in a row after it announced it was developing a virtual reality-based metaverse game.
  • China’s largest brokerage firm, CITIC Securities, also said last month in a research report the metaverse will enter an exploration stage in the next three to five years and could become a way of life in 20 years. Notably, for the software, the report said the first breakthroughs might come from tech giants such as Tencent, ByteDance, Facebook, and Baidu, in the fields of gaming, social networking and advertising.
  • Facebook, in particular, has been active in pushing ahead with the idea of the metaverse. It announced earlier this week that it will create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to build its highly anticipated metaverse.