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Hugo Barr, VP of VR at Facebook
Facebook said Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will make the hardware for its upcoming Oculus Go virtual-reality headset.
Xiaomi is also building a product called the Mi VR Standalone for the Chinese market based on Go technology and powered by a Qualcomm processor. Executives from the three companies presented at an event at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“Xiaomi is our hardware partner for launching Oculus Go globally,” Hugo Barra, a former Xiaomi executive who was hired by Facebook a year ago as vice president of VR, said on Monday.
In a blog post, Oculus called Xiaomi’s device “a VR headset based on Oculus technology exclusively for the Chinese market” and said the product will support Oculus’s mobile software developer kit.
China requires foreign companies in certain strategic markets to partner with Chinese firms to sell products there. The announcement suggests Facebook will use the Xiaomi device to get its VR technology and Chinese versions of its content into the world’s largest consumer market.
Facebook said at its Oculus Connect conference in October that it will begin shipping Go, the company’s first standalone headset, in early 2018, at a price of $199.
Unlike other VR devices, standalone headsets don’t need to be attached to a PC or smartphone to work.
Xiaomi was the world’s fifth-largest maker of smartphones in the third quarter of 2017, according to a report from market researcher IDC. The company is the top vendor in India.
— CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report.