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TikTok owner is quietly doing an 'Apple' — ByteDance invests in Chinese memory pioneer, months after a similar move in a GPU vendor, as it plans for an Apple Vision Pro VR rival

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TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has reportedly quietly invested in Xinyuan Semiconductors, a Chinese memory chip manufacturer. 

A report from Pandaily, a tech media site based in Beijing, the move reportedly positions ByteDance as the third-largest shareholder in the chip maker, holding an indirect stake of 9.5%.

A ByteDance spokesperson confirmed this previously undisclosed investment to Pandaily, stating its aim is to hasten the development of VR headsets. This move aligns with ByteDance's growing interest in the VR sector, as it plans to take on Meta's Quest and Apple's Vision Pro.

Pushing ahead into VR

Based in Shanghai and established in 2019, Xinyuan Semiconductors specializes in Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM) technology and related chip products. The company's portfolio covers three major application areas: high-performance industrial control and automotive SoC and ASIC chips, Computing in Memory (CIM) IP and chips, and System-on-Memory (SoM) chips.

This investment in Xinyuan Semiconductors isn't ByteDance's first venture into the semiconductor industry. In 2021, the tech behemoth also invested in Moore Thread, a Chinese GPU manufacturer.

The company's strategic investments signal a clear intent to compete in the VR space. TikTok is already available as a native app for Vision Pro.

But while this latest investment could potentially be setting the stage for a showdown with Apple and its Vision Pro headset, ByteDance has another far bigger battle on its hands right now.

The US House of Representatives recently passed a significant bill that could lead to a TikTok ban in America if the Chinese parent company fails to sell its controlling stake of the social media app within the next six months.

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