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HTC to further support Vive following $1.1 billion Google deal

Cash made from selling mobile staff to Google will partly be used to fund growth in VR and AR

HTC has agreed to let a number of its staff join Google, a $1.1 billion cash deal that will help the company to support and expand its Vive virtual reality business.

The exact quantity of staff was not disclosed, but HTC has confirmed that many of them were already working on Google's Pixel smartphones. This will result in a more streamlined mobile product strategy for HTC, though the Taiwanese firm remains committed to the smartphone market.

The $1.1 billion in cash it will receive from Google will partly support its smartphone business, but it will also fund the growth of the Vive VR ecosystem and investments in augmented reality.

"This agreement is a brilliant next step in our longstanding partnership, enabling Google to supercharge their hardware business while ensuring continued innovation within our HTC smartphone and VIVE virtual reality businesses," said HTC CEO Cher Wang in a statement. "We believe HTC is well positioned to maintain our rich legacy of innovation and realize the potential of a new generation of connected products and services."

This is a display of support for Vive that runs counter to recent rumours that HTC was poised to either sell or spin-off its VR business. However, at that time, sources close to the company said that seeking additional investment was also being considered.

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, HTC's Dan O'Brien and Joel Breton said that Vive had reached its first year sales target.

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