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Poor Profit! Baidu’s Metaverse Business Head Resigned

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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Due to poor profits marginalization, the Chinese multinational technology firm, Baidu, has reportedly switched to AIGC-related businesses as the person in charge of Xi Rang’s metaverse business, Ma Jie left the company. Ma Jie, who doubles as the Vice President of Baidu and head of Baidu’s Xi Rang business is said to have recently resigned without disclosing any reasons.

As per the report, the Xi Rang team has not been disbanded, but the future is uncertain at the moment, and several members have moved on. Insiders with relevant knowledge stated that it is difficult to see a good business model for the metaverse business in the short term, the profitability is poor, and Baidu’s shift to AIGC-related businesses and unwillingness to invest more resources in the metaverse business given the recent development.

Baidu’s Metaverse Business – Xi Rang

In December 2021, Baidu unveiled the first domestic metaverse product in China, named Xi Rang meaning “Land of Hope” in English. The platform is positioned as a multi-person interactive space that spans virtual and reality and lasts forever. Additionally, it can be assessed via smartphones, computers, or VR goggles, allowing users to create avatars and interact with other players.

Ma Jie reportedly stated that Metaverse was still in the very early stages of industrial exploration and that it would take a long time for the entire community to jointly construct and mature when Xi Rang’s business was first established. The platform has put a lot of effort into enhancing the effectiveness of Metaverse product research and development and lowering system operational costs.

Unfortunately, the outcomes were not as expected despite these efforts. The manager of Xi Rang’s metaverse business left Baidu after more than a year, leaving the future of Xi Rang’s team in doubt. Anyone familiar with the growth of the local metaverse market is aware of Baidu’s early entry into the Chinese metaverse market and the fact that it landed more quickly than most of its rivals.

However, with this development, it seems Xi Rang has been marginalized, as Baidu found it difficult to see a good business model for the metaverse business in the short term, given its profitability is poor. At the time of the press, the Chinese tech giant has not released any information regarding Ma Jie’s resignation.


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