? TikTok’s Parent Company Bytedance Acquires VR Headset Maker Pico

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TikTok’s Parent Company Bytedance Acquires VR Headset Maker Pico

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Bytedance, the parent company of short-form video-making app TikTok, is all set to acquire Chinese virtual reality (VR) headset maker Pico. However, the financial details of the deal were not made public.

The reason behind this acquisition is obvious. VR and AR technology is becoming increasingly popular and tech companies are more interested in investing in these technologies.

In a statement, ByteDance said that Pico’s “comprehensive suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as the talent and deep expertise of the team, will support both our entry to the VR space and long-term investment in this emerging field”.

Recently, TikTok has launched a new creative tool-set called TikTok Effect Studio, which allows its own developer community to build augmented reality (AR) effects for the platform.

Founded in 2015, Pico has over 300 employees around the world. It was ranked the third-largest maker of VR headsets according to a June IDC report, and surely, ByteDance will take advantage of this to improve its own products.

China Cuts Online Gaming Hours for Minors

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In a move that is likely to impact the Chinese online gaming industry, regulators in China reduced the amount of time players under the age of 18 can spend on online gaming.

Minor online gamers will only be allowed to play only for an hour from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and public holidays, according to the Chinese video game regulator.

Online gaming companies have also been instructed to not provide gaming services to minors in any form outside those hours and make sure they have all the verification systems in place to avoid irregularities.

Back in 2019, China had limited the total time allotted for minors to play online games for 90 minutes on other days and three hours on a public holiday.

The new rules quickly became one of the most discussed topics around investors leading to a big fall in the share value of some of the biggest online gaming firms in China.

Regulators said that they would also increase the frequency and intensity of inspections for online gaming companies to make sure they are implementing the time limits and anti-addiction systems.

PayPal May Roll Out a Stock-Trading Platform in the US

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PayPal, the well-known payments platform, is reportedly exploring to launch a stock-trading platform for its customers in the United States.

To achieve this objective, the company has hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen, former president at All Invest.

According to Rich Hagen’s LinkedIn profile, he is now CEO of a new division of PayPal called “Invest at PayPal”. His profile also says that he is leading PayPal’s efforts to explore opportunities in the consumer investment business.

This move signals that the payment platform is getting serious about its efforts to allow users to invest their money in the PayPal ecosystem.

Venturing into retail trading is not new for PayPal, as last year, the company announced it would allow users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account. Moreover, the company executives have also said that they want to branch out into other financial services.

However, it looks like PayPal’s entry into the stock trading space could cause trouble to many firms already catering to retail stock traders.

Apple Acquires Classical-Music Service Primephonic

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In an undisclosed deal, Apple has acquired classical music streaming service Primephonic and will launch a dedicated app, too, in 2022.

With this latest acquisition, Apple will add more songs to its already existing library of more than 75 million songs, and also build on the platform’s existing classical music content.

The audio content and playlist of Primephonic will be integrated into Apple Music in the coming months. The existing services of the classical-music platform will be shut down on September 7; however, its subscribers will get six months of Apple Music for no additional costs.

In the coming months, Apple will take full advantage of Primephonic’s information about classic tracks to improve browsing and search capabilities for users.

The acquisition comes as Apple defends its control of the App Store that acts as the single gateway for digital content for its iPhone and other devices.

Around the Web

Prosus acquires BillDesk for $4.7 billion: Prosus, one of the biggest technology investors and global consumer internet group, has announced that its payment and fintech business arm PayU will acquire the online payment gateway provider BillDesk for $4.7 billion.

Universal Studios to open its first theme park in China: Universal Studios is all set to open its first theme park in China on September 20. The theme park will feature American experiences and will have shows, rides, exhibits, restaurants, and even a pair of hotels.

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