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Oppo closes chip division, clears out German website as it faces uncertainties

Oppo has reportedly cleared out its entire official website for the German market, amid the rumours of the smartphone maker's exit from the European market

Oppo, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, announced that it would close its chip design division due to unpredictability in both the global economy and the smartphone market.

The business, among China’s top local smartphone companies, said it would shut down Zeku, founded in 2019. One of its products is the MariSilicon X chip, a neural processing unit (NPU) that enhances visuals for mobile video and photography.

A company representative stated they must make challenging adjustments for long-term development because of the uncertainty in the global economy and the smartphone sector.

The largest smartphone market in the world, China, is still having trouble recovering from one of its worst-ever downturns as budget-conscious shoppers continue to avoid expensive purchases even after the authorities lifted their zero-COVID rules.

Smartphone shipments decreased 14% in 2022, and for the first time in ten years, overall unit shipments went below 300 million. According to research firm Canalys, total smartphone shipments in the first quarter decreased 11% yearly to 67.2 million units, the lowest quarterly total since 2013.

To become self-sufficient, Oppo and its Chinese rivals, including Xiaomi (1810. HK), established internal chip design departments after the United States hobbled Huawei Technologies’ (HWT.UL) smartphone sector with sanctions that prohibited it from obtaining essential parts.

BBK Electronics owns Vivo, another famous Chinese smartphone company, and Oppo.

Oppo also has reportedly cleared out its entire official website for the German market, amid the rumours of the smartphone maker’s exit from the European market.

As per a Gizmochina report, one of the first markets for this exodus would be France, followed by Germany.

As of May 2023, the German website of Oppo carries only a single advertisement for the company’s ongoing partnership with YEFA Champions League, followed by a FAQ banner that only answers one question, which is related to its existing Oppo devices in the country. Based on recent rumors, the smartphone maker is expected to exit the French market in June 30, 2023.

Initial reports had also hinted of OnePlus exiting the European market along with Oppo, but these claims were later refuted officially.

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