Major Chinese phone maker Oppo will treat Oppo and OnePlus as “dual-primary” brands, it was announced at an event to mark the 9th anniversary of OnePlus on Dec. 17. Oppo will invest RMB 10 billion ($1.43 billion) in OnePlus in the next three years as part of the new strategy, according to Liu Zuohu (Pete Lau), founder of OnePlus and chief product officer of Oppo.

Why it matters: Since the two firms merged in 2021, OnePlus’ positioning has become somewhat unclear – it offers a less premium experience compared to Oppo and has lost some of its unique features. The new strategy and investment seem intended as a strong push to make OnePlus stand out again.

Details: In addition to the $1.43 billion investment, Oppo will also share more resources in terms of technology, retail channels, and after-sales services with OnePlus.

  • The Oppo Research Institute Innovation Accelerator and Oppo’s research and development department will offer more cutting-edge technology to OnePlus as part of the new strategy.
  • Oppo will also put OnePlus devices on shelves at its 5,000-plus offline retail outlets in China.
  • The two brands will also share more than 1,000 offline after-sales networks.
  • According to Liu’s comments, Oppo will become a “global tech brand”, with its two series Find and Reno focusing on imaging systems and design respectively.
  • OnePlus will focus on performance and selling through online channels, Liu added.

Context: Liu founded OnePlus in 2013 after working at Oppo for 15 years. The two companies belong to BBK Electronics, with OnePlus manufacturing their phones in Oppo’s factories.  

  • Liu returned to Oppo as chief product officer of the brand in 2020, a role he assumed in addition to his duties at OnePlus.
  • Including OnePlus sales, Oppo is the fourth-largest phone vendor worldwide, accounting for 10% of the global market in the third quarter of 2022, according to hardware consultancy Canalys.

Ward Zhou is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. He covers stories about industry of digital content, hardware, and anything geek. Reach him via ward.zhou[a] or Twitter @zhounanyu.