OnePlus Responds To OPPO Controversy

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Yesterday, news broke that Chinese documents allegedly showed that OPPO owned almost the entirety of OnePlus. Media outlets, along with fans and observers speculated what exactly that meant for the two supposed competitors.

Today, OnePlus emailed us a statement on the situation.

“We understand the confusion as many people are just finding out about OnePlus. But as we’ve said from the beginning, OnePlus is a separately run company that does share common investors with OPPO.

One of those investors is OPPO Electronic. OPPO Electronic is an investment company and is not the same as OPPO Mobile. OnePlus is also in talks with other investors.”

That may be technically correct, but it is safe to assume that OPPO Electronic is also an investor in OPPO Mobile, who is a competitor to OnePlus. It is not unusual for an investment firm to diversify within the same market, but the Chinese media outlet stated that OPPO Electronic made up the entirety of OnePlus’ ownership (the article stated “100%”) that would make it unusual, especially when that investment firm shares its namesake with a competitor.

But unusual doesn’t necessarily mean dishonest. OnePlus stated that they are “in talks with other investors.” It is entirely possible that former OPPO Executive and OnePlus founder Pete Lau, simply convinced OPPO Electronic that investing in a company that does things differently, the way he wanted to do them, would be a good investment.

I’m not suggesting that is what happened, I honestly don’t know. I’m just laying out an alternative possibility to the “they lied to us” narrative that has developed around this story. OnePlus may still turn out to be more than OPPO’s version of Toyota’s Scion.

When multiple outlets reported on the Chinese news story, they all parroted the same line about Pete Lau consistently denying an OPPO connection in the past. I did not report on that because I know Google Translations can be tricky and I couldn’t independently verify it. In fact, looking at the media reports during the creation of OnePlus, some speculated that OPPO would help manufacture OnePlus’ first device, indicating that the two companies were always close.

It is possible that Lau denied the connection in the Chinese media, but I have not been able to find any statements where he emphatically stated that OPPO and OnePlus have no connection.

The bigger question is, should we care? A flagship quality phone for $299 is still a flagship quality phone for $299, regardless of who bankrolled it.

  • mf1gt3r

    Well said. Doesnt matter who owns what, as long as i wont have to break the bank to own one, its ok with me.

  • Gerald

    It’s just the question when will they offer it!
    If OnePlus waits until everybody can get the alike hardware from other firms for the same price it will not be a win for us anymore. ;)

    • Lauri

      If other companies offer discounts, launch lower priced high-end phones etc partly due to the competition from OP then that would be a win for us.

  • vijayhimla

    One Plus One has to have a USP..theirs i think is stunning low price for premium specs. But specs alone do not a successful mobile system make ! Proof of the pudding will be in eating this..when O When ?

  • arsalan

    Nobody want to own the company. It doesn’t matter the company’s relationships to anybody else. Customers only want a good product.

    • Dave Weinstein

      Sorry, I respectfully disagree. What’s at issue here is your OS choice being bartered as a commodity in the name of corporate strategy.

      • The Chosen One

        Agreed!!! Its like I posted in the initial article Oppo makes their money regardless with this strategy.

        For the Oppo loyal and the newbies Oppo delivers their branded offerings and for those seeking change, those changing loyalties, those against big brands, those that will root for an underdog, Oppo funded 1+!

        When you compete against yourself who wins?

  • Dave Weinstein

    Hmm… tricky issue. Regardless of the technicalities, OnePlus is clearly splitting hairs with this issue.

    Should we care? Well, only if it means that it’s the only way to get Cyanogen on Oppo hardware. To be honest, I’m not sure I want OnePlus limiting the options for which devices I can run CM on.

    • Rachel

      It was reported earlier that Peter owns 100% of One Plus Marketing, which does no R&D or manufacturing. Oppo does all that, and would Oppo really agree to making an almost identical phone to their new just released phone, to be sold at 40% less, if they’re weren’t all owned by one larger company?

  • inez blafla

    Listening to earlier interviews given to English speaking media with Lau or the marketing guy, they both, and repeatedly, referred to we, as in OPO and OPPO, not each other. As the press elsewhere had referred to them as a start up headed by ex OPPO employees, and implied that they were independent, I even rewound to double check this point.

    But to be frank, it had always struck me as strange that the press did not question that OPO were able to leverage of R&D started at OPPO for the find 7, could use pretty much the same components and even have their handsets manufactured by OPPO – and all this whilst remaining independent / be their competitors. I know it is China, but employment contracts, commercial clout etc would have excluded Lau et all from unabridged transfers of core tech and expertises in the same business.

    I therefore figured the tech press were exercising supportive compliance of ‘the better story’, kindly turning a blind eye to blurred lines – but I never thought that people like Gizchina were hoodwinked or ignorant of the real deal. I still do not believe that, I just think their support has landed them in a more uncomfortable situation than they could have envisaged, and that they have been caught a bit short by a well out of control hype machine. Lessons to be learnt for all it would seem.

    • Dave Weinstein

      I originally thought it was a spin out and that they were starting with a phone that was a project already underway at Oppo.

  • desponent

    I agree that it’s not end user problem at all regarding all this hubub but it’s still a weird situation.

  • eekiguy2

    This sites becomes the biggest mouth piece for OPPOs marketing department, and rumors say Andy (the founder of this site) is hired by OPPO / OnePlus.

    End users dont care about the behind the scene big guys they just want good products at low cost. But at least the owner should be honest about his bias and end this non-news articles.

    Everybody knows already One Plus is Oppo.
    One Plue One = OPO, 1 + 1 = 2, OPO + 2 = OPO2

    • Michael Hannigan

      This is correct reasoning, but doesn’t that mean that One Plus One = OPO + OPO, which is OPOOPO, which now just POOP flanked by the letter O?