Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has formed an internet of a things-focused business group, a move that will raise its stakes in smart devices amid increased competition in the domestic smartphone market.

The newly formed Intelligent Mobile Devices group will spearhead the development of an Oppo sub-brand, dubbed Zhimei, which will initially encompass smartwatch and headset products, with a continuing focus on sport and health-related devices, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Oppo aims to take on smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi who have also been increasing their focus on smart devices. Xiaomi sold more than 132 million internet of things (IoT) devices in the last quarter of 2018—more than any other company in the world, according to market research company iResearch. Xiaomi plans to invest more than RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion) over the next five years to increase its focus on artificial intelligence IoT.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen