Meta’s Zuckerberg to deepen tie-up with LG on next-gen devices


Zuckerberg, who arrived in Seoul late Tuesday clad in the same brown Mustang jacket he sported in public Wednesday, is attracting outsized attention during an Asian tour that’s largely remained under wraps. — YONHAP/AFP

Mark Zuckerberg discussed ways to deepen Meta Platforms Inc’s strategic alliance on extended-reality technology with LG Electronics Inc, making his latest stop on a tour of Asia that’s taken the billionaire founder from Tokyo to Seoul.

Meta’s CEO and LG Electronics chief executive officer William Cho spent two hours going over business strategies for so-called XR devices, considered a next phase after early virtual and augmented reality devices such as the Quest headset. The pair discussed Meta’s large language models and the potential to build AI into consumer devices, LG said in a statement. The Korean company mentioned in particular how Meta’s platform can dovetail with LG’s content and TV business to create a "distinctive ecosystem.”

Zuckerberg is in Seoul after spending several days on a ski trip with his family in Japan. AI and Quest have featured heavily on his agenda so far, given Meta’s accelerating investment into artificial intelligence and growing competition in hardware from the likes of Apple Inc.’s Vision Pro. In South Korea, he’s also expected to meet up with Samsung Electronics Co, a longtime rival of LG’s that’s also collaborated with Meta on virtual reality.

Zuckerberg, who arrived in Seoul late Tuesday clad in the same brown Mustang jacket he sported in public Wednesday, is attracting outsized attention during an Asian tour that’s largely remained under wraps.

The billionaire is returning to the city as Meta, whose businesses range from Facebook to Instagram, races to compete in AI with powerful competitors from OpenAI and Microsoft Corp to Alphabet Inc. It’s an undertaking that will require huge amounts of Nvidia Corp chips and investment to build what Zuckerberg has dubbed a "massive compute infrastructure.”

Meta remains far and away the industry leader in VR headsets – holding nearly half the market, according to Counterpoint Research – but is losing money on that venture and now has to contend with Apple’s latest device. It’s unclear if mainstream consumers will ever fully embrace the products.

Zuckerberg’s next stop is India, where he’s slated to attend the pre-wedding celebrations of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son. The three-day festivities, which will start on March 1, will draw celebrities in business, technology and entertainment.

LG, one of the biggest names in consumer electronics, this year pledged to set aside some US$7.6bil (RM36.24bil) for investment into new technologies such as electric vehicles. The Korean company, which makes everything from washing machines and TVs to displays for smartphones, is doubling its capital expenditure despite persistent global economic uncertainty, Cho said at the time. – Bloomberg

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