Facebook appoints Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra to head VR business

Facebook has appointed Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra to lead its virtual reality initiatives, including the Oculus VR business that was acquired in 2014.

The appointment was announced by the company’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said that Barra will lead all of Facebook’s virtual reality efforts including the Oculus team.

Facebook’s decision to hire Barra as vice president of virtual reality may have been influenced in part by his exposure to the Chinese market, which is forecast by IDC to account for 20 percent of worldwide virtual reality head-mounted displays next year.

“Keep in mind that China’s VR market is dramatically different from the rest of the world, be it in terms of local vendors, content, or usage models,” according to Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research at IDC. 

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