Huawei’s tussle with the USA has definitely affected the confidence of other Chinese smartphone makers as increasing tensions between Beijing and Washington are forcing Chinese manufacturers to decrease their reliance on Qualcomm. Oppo is the latest one to join the list as it is planning to invest more into in-house chip development and has been hiring veterans from other companies like UNISOC, Mediatek etc.
Oppo’s recent move is not the first one as the company began the efforts of designing its own mobile chips last year when tensions between Huawei and US escalated. Now, the company’s aggressive strategy continues as it has been actively hiring experienced engineers from Mediatek, and China’s second-largest Chip developer, UNISOC, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
On a Hiring Spree
The recent hirings of the company include Jeffery Ju, MediaTek’s former co-COO and a former executive from Xiaomi, who earlier worked with Oppo as a consultant. The list will continue as another executive from Mediatek’s 5G SoC development will join Oppo soon. Additionally, Oppo is also trying to recruit talents from Qualcomm, and Huawei’s HiSilicon units.
By hiring top talent, Oppo aims to reduce its dependence on suppliers based out of the US and in turn benefit from overseas markets like Europe, where Huawei has been struggling lately. For Oppo to achieve this, it needs a team of veterans and hence, the company has been trying hard to create a team in Shanghai to start working on an expensive project that will likely take years to come to fruition.
However, Oppo has said that it already has chip-related backup and the recent investment is aimed to enhance users experience and also be one for the long term future. Experts have welcomed the company’s move by saying that it will give them an upper hand over its supply chain but pointed out that an expensive trip is ahead for the company before it could perfect the design.
If we recall, the company’s rival Huawei invested in its own HiSilicon Kirin chip unit a decade ago and has perfected its own supply chain over the years. Companies like Xiaomi too invested in chip design back in 2014 and released an SoC in 2017, but it is yet to get a refresh.
Oppo eyes Europe for Sales
Xiaomi and Oppo, as well as most Chinese phone makers, currently rely on US-based Qualcomm for their mobile SoCs. Oppo’s recent flagship series like the recent Find X2 is based on it and the budget series like the recently launched Reno, have recently started embracing MediaTek SoCs.
Talking about sales, the company is gaining grounds on markets like Europe. Oppo’s shipments have grown more than 1000% recently according to IDC. This could be due to its collaboration with partners like Vodafone, Orange and Telefonica. However, the company has faced a fall of 1.2% YoY shipments globally.
Further, experts at IDC believe that the company’s move will generate good returns in the long run and improve its leadership globally. With the recent trends pointing towards worsening ties between China and the US, Huawei’s foes will definitely aim to gain ground over their rival in the coming months.