Oppo Closes Chip Design Business Amid Global Smartphone Market Decline


Oppo Closes Chip Design Business Amid Global Smartphone Market Decline

Oppo, the leading domestic smartphone manufacturer in China, has decided to close down its chip design business as the global smartphone market continues to experience a prolonged decline.

This move positions Oppo as one of the first major Chinese technology companies to withdraw from the chip sector, following a surge of investment in recent years by electronics firms who were cautious of the tightening export restrictions imposed by the United States.

The company’s spokesperson announced on Friday that they will be discontinuing the operations of their chip unit, known as Zeku, citing uncertainty surrounding the global economy and the mobile industry as the reasons for this decision.

Established in 2019, Zeku was originally intended to operate similarly to Apple Inc.’s in-house Silicon division, which focuses on developing the main processors utilized in iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. The Oppo group had the responsibility of designing application processors, modems, and other connectivity solutions such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components.

Zeku had offices located in Shanghai, Xi’an, Beijing, and Chengdu, as stated on its website. According to Tianyancha, a company registration data platform, the Shanghai branch alone held nearly 200 patents, many of which were related to semiconductors.

Zeku’s notable achievement was the development of the MariSilicon X image-processing chip, which was unveiled in late 2021 and has since been a prominent feature in Oppo’s flagship devices. Despite this technological advancement, Oppo has experienced significant drops in shipment numbers over the past year. Like other smartphone manufacturers, the company is currently grappling with an excess inventory situation.

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