HTC denies planning to establish virtual reality company


TAIPEI–The Taiwan-based smartphone maker, HTC Corp., on Tuesday denied reports that it was planning to set up a new company to focus on the emerging virtual reality (VR) global market.

The company issued a statement denying any such plans and saying it will chart a direction for the development of its VR operations with the goal of creating the best value for its shareholders.

The rumors of a planned HTC VR company, however, boosted the stock 5.23 percent on the local bourse Monday to NT$76.5 (US$2.28) and it remained unchanged Tuesday. HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang has forecast that 2016 will be the year of VR technology, which will be a major trend in the industrial sector over the next 10 years.

On Monday, the Chinese-language Commercial Times cited unnamed industry sources as saying that Wang was planning to spin off HTC’s VR operations into an independent entity initially and that the new company would be fully owned by her and HTC.

Investors have appeared optimistic toward HTC’s development, anticipating that its smart devices, VR and wearable products will help generate strong turnover in the first half of the year.

HTC unveiled its first RV headset — the HTC Vive — at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) show in March 2015. It has announced that pre-order sales for the HTC Vive will kick off Feb. 29 ahead of its full release in stores in April.

The HTC Vive was jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve. The headset is equipped with tracked controllers that allow wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings.