Political tensions and economic downturns have created a great deal of problems for many Chinese phone brands. Oppo, in particular, is facing tough times and has had to make changes in its structures to account for declining profits. According to TechCrunch, OPPO is dismantling the team responsible for developing their chip called Zeku. The Chinese OEM claims that the weak global demand and the rising tensions between US and China have been incredibly detrimental to their company.
Reportedly, the US has threatened to cut OPPO from critical suppliers, further weakening its stance in the global market. The weaker global demand for smartphones can also be attributed to the latest Q1 2023 report, which showed an overall 12% decline in demand in the smartphone market.
Team Zeku debuted back in December 2021 and has since then worked to develop the MariSilicon X chip that OPPO uses. It is a 6nm NPU (neural processing unit), which combines with the ISP (image signal processor) to utilize the full potential of the phone’s CPU. As a result, boosting performance and reducing a phone’s power consumption. The chip is also present in many of OPPO’s recent flagship phones, including the latest release, the OPPO Find N2 Flip.
OPPO released a statement regarding this decision stating that the uncertainties in the global economy and the smartphone industry have caused it to make these difficult adjustments for long-term development. The news comes as a shock to many as the company had just revealed the new MariSilicon Y chip in late 2022, which aimed for better wireless audio. Additionally, OPPO’s decision to disband the team came right after the Zeku team hired 100 new personnel to fill additional positions.
The Zeku team has over 2000 employees, and the company is determined to properly arrange all related matters and continue to deliver excellent phones and services to its users. However, OPPO is not the first company to suffer such losses. Huawei, another Chinese OEM, also suffered strenuous times similar to OPPO three years ago.
OPPO’s struggles do not stop there, as it is still struggling with its 5G technology patent dispute with Nokia. Recently, problems are arising in France, and it seems like the company may have to retreat from there entirely.
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