Facebook and Samsung may establish ‘virtual reality’ partnership

October 15, 2014
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may align with Samsung as they both foray into virtual reality products.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may align with Samsung as they both foray into virtual reality products.

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Samsung Electronics Co.’s key factory complex and exchanged talks with top officials on various industry fields, Samsung said Wednesday.

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg visited Suwon Samsung Digital City, south of Seoul, on Oct. 15,” Samsung said in its release. “The purpose of the visit is to exchange success experiences of the two companies.”

Samsung said Zuckerberg met with top officials, including Shin Jong-kyun, who heads the IT and mobile division, as well as other executives from various business sectors, exchanging talks on the “DNA of success.”

Facebook officials also visited the Samsung Innovation Museum, which opened April this year, while also taking a look into Samsung’s semiconductor production line.

Sandberg also met some 10 female Samsung executives, where she exchanged ideas on women’s leadership, adding while females’ role in society has developed significantly over the past century, it has not developed much over the previous decade.

She is also said to have added while females were previously referred to as “too aggressive at work,” such a characteristic has now emerged as an “executive leadership skill.”

Although Samsung has not formally provided confirmation, Zuckerberg is believed to have met with Samsung’s heir-apparent Lee Jay-yong during his visit to Samsung Group’s Seoul headquarters Tuesday evening.

The head of the world’s largest social network firm is said to have been accompanied by around 40 executives, an indication that the two would engage in broad discussions on business cooperation.

Industry watchers say Samsung and Facebook may have exchanged ideas on cooperating in the virtual reality business, with the South Korean company, the world’s No. 1 maker of smartphones, recently rolling out Samsung Gear VR.

Providing views that rotate 360 degrees in all directions, the device provides a life-like experience to users. It is currently linked to the Galaxy Note 4 through a micro-USB.

Facebook acquired Oculus VR earlier this year, reflecting the firm’s efforts to tap the virtual reality business.

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming, and we have a chance to build it together,” Zuckerberg said in March upon the acquisition of Oculus VR.

In June last year, Zuckerberg also visited Seoul, meeting with Lee as well as President Park Geun-hye.