Baidu Metaverse Head Resigns as Unit Seeks Profitability

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Ma Jie, the former head of Baidu’s Metaverse operation, has resigned from the company in light of the inability to generate profits from the virtual world-related business in the short term. According to Chinese media outlet Jiemian, several insiders suggest that weak cultivation of Baidu’s XiRang, the so-called first Metaverse platform of China, is closely related to Ma’s departure. The recent decrease of enthusiasm in the virtual world theme and the surge of artificial intelligence development coincide with Ma’s exit.

XiRang, introduced by Baidu in December 2021, is designed to bring users immersive experience and the capability to explore virtual environment by avatars. Also, virtual conferences with up to 100,000 participants are accessible with this tool. At the launch event, Ma expressed the expectation of completing the full deployment of XiRang within six years.

Baidu is a Chinese multinational technology company founded in 2000 offering services such as search engine, AI, ecommerce and mapping. It is headquartered in Beijing and listed on NASDAQ. Baidu aims to provide the most comprehensive internet-based services to customers, targeting ambitions such as creating an AI-centric open ecosystem.

Ma Jie is the former head of Baidu’s Metaverse Operation. He has extensive experience in technology startups and venture capital, with an equally impressive background in product management and hardware design. He is based in the Silicon Valley and has great achievements in the field of virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

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