Apple was the first smartphone and tech company to come up with the construction of an electric vehicle, with the first reports coming out in 2015. Then, just a few days ago, we learned that Huawei and Xiaomi (two of the giants Chinese smartphones) both wanted to ride on the game EV, as well. Now, another smartphone company is considering joining the ever-growing fray: Oppo.
Most Americans have probably never heard of Oppo, but the company is hugely successful in its home country of China. Owned by electronics giant BBK, which as a company is larger than Apple and Huawei, Oppo became the largest smartphone maker in China in 2020, capturing 21% of the total market share. Now Oppo Founder and CEO Tony Chen wants to turn that business success into a road.
According to CarNewsChina, Chen leads the Oppo car project, hiring a team of automotive designers and engineers while meeting with Tesla’s battery supplier and manufacturer, CATL. The company has yet to formally create an automotive division, but those same reports suggest Oppo is on track to do so.
“Even in automobile manufacturing, we will focus on areas where Oppo can perform well,” Chen told Chinese outlets. “If the automakers can’t build good cars and Oppo has the strength, we’ll try it in the future.”
What is not clear is how Oppo will approach the proposed EV project. The company could either follow the same strategy as Huawei and buy an existing business, or attempt to build its vehicle from scratch. Another option is for Oppo to act as a supplier to existing automakers, given that the company has already filed a number of patents in China for autonomous vehicle devices. We’ll know more about the project as Oppo officially releases details, likely in the coming months.