It looks like another tech company could be joining the automotive market. After Xiaomi announced plans to build an electric vehicle (EV) last March, Oppo is reportedly planning to join the EV market, too.
According to CarNewsChina, Tony Chen, founder, and CEO of Oppo will be spearheading the ambitious project. Supposedly, Oppo has been busy hiring different talents, checking available resources, as well as testing possible tech that can be used in the upcoming EV. A person close to the matter also mentioned that Oppo has been busy looking into car manufacturing.
Chen also reportedly met with Tesla’s battery supplier in the past two weeks, CATL. Andy Wu, the vice president of Software Engineering at Oppo, has participated in the supposed project at an executive level. This somehow goes to show how Chen is serious about joining the EV market.
But how will Oppo build their supposed upcoming EV?
Just this year, Oppo was invited to attend the SAIC Developer Conference held in Shanghai. Oppo discussed making software needed for EVs and other future development with other companies from different industries. With that, perhaps Oppo could get help from SAIC. There are even reports that Oppo already has an automotive division in Chengdu that will see to the construction of the EVs.
When asked whether the EV rumors were true, Oppo did not confirm or deny the news. However, Tony Chen did say that if a manufacturer can’t build a car that can meet Oppo’s standards, they will try in the future. This means Oppo may still be thinking of whether to go with Xiaomi’s approach (build their own) or go with Huawei’s strategy (partner with an existing brand to make EVs).
“Even in car manufacturing, we will focus on areas that Oppo can perform well. If automakers can’t build good cars and Oppo has the strength, we will try it in the future,” said Chen.
Oppo is already a very successful smartphone brand. However, it seems they want to translate their success in mobile phones to EVs next. The only question now is, will Oppo build it themselves, or have another company help them make it a reality?