China’s Oppo to shut down chip design unit as smartphone sales slump

Oppo, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, announced the closure of its chip design team, citing concerns in the global economy and the smartphone business.

The business, which is one of China’s best-selling domestic smartphone brands, announced the closure of its Zeku unit, which it established in 2019. Its products include the MariSilicon X chip, a neural processing unit (NPU) that improves visuals for smartphone video and photography.

“Due to the uncertainties in the global economy and the smartphone industry, we have to make difficult adjustments for long-term development,” a company representative said.

China’s smartphone market, the world’s largest, is failing to recover from one of its worst slumps in history, as price-conscious customers continue to avoid large-ticket purchases, despite the country’s easing of zero-COVID limitations.

Smartphone shipments declined 14% in 2022, with total unit shipments falling below 300 million for the first time in a decade. According to Canalys, total smartphone shipments fell 11% year on year in the first quarter to 67.2 million units, the lowest quarterly total since 2013.

After the United States hobbled Huawei Technologies’ smartphone sector with sanctions that barred it from procuring crucial components, Oppo and its Chinese rivals like as Xiaomi established in-house chip design units in pursuit of self-reliance.

BBK Electronics, which also owns Vivo, another popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer, controls Oppo.

(Adapted from


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