Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is closing its chip design business Zeku, disbanding its research and development team and impacting the jobs of thousands of people. “Uncertainties in the global economy and the mobile phone market” as well as the need for “strategic adjustments” to ensure the firm’s long-term development were cited by the company as the reasons for the move in a May 12 statement, according to local media outlet Caixin. Established in August 2019 and with teams in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, and Xi’an, Zeku had almost 200 patents spanning connectivity solutions, modems, and applications processors, with the majority of them related to semiconductors. The unit developed the MariSilicon X image-processing chip, which was revealed in late 2021 and has been a key fixture of Oppo’s phones since. Zeku had a workforce of more than 2,000 in December 2022, Caixin reported. [Caixin, in Chinese]