Oppo may follow Xiaomi, Huawei’s footsteps to build its own self-driving car


Chinese smartphone manufacturer could be the latest from the tech industry to venture into the automobile sector soon. According to reports in Chinese media, the company is reportedly on a hiring spree looking for people involved in the auto supply chain.

(Also Read: From smartphones to cars: Rush to build EVs catch up with tech companies)

Oppo is the second biggest smartphone manufacturer in China, which also owns popular smartphone brands like OnePlus, Vivo and Realme. It has a market share of around 8 per cent with more than 112 million smartphones delivered last year across the world, including India.

According to reports in China, Oppo is already planning to build its own car. It is reported that the Oppo’s co-founder and chief executive Tony Chen is looking for resources and talents working as part of the auto supply chain. It also claims that Oppo is also seriously studying to understand how to build a car, but it has not yet formally started the project.

According to news from related channels, Tony Chen met with CATL China Passenger Car Division and China Automotive Research Institute in the past two weeks. At the executive level, Wu Henggang, Vice President of OPPO Software Engineering, has stepped in. According to news sources, Wu Henggang is the highest-level executive interviewing for positions in autonomous driving and algorithms. Guo Yandong, the chief scientist who joined OPPO from Xiaopeng Motors last year, also intervened in the preparation of the autonomous driving team.

Oppo’s CEO Tony Chen was quoted by Chinese media saying, “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.”

Oppo is already a key player when it comes to autonomous driving technology. It has patents on self-driving tech like distance measuring devices, cameras, and electronic equipment for car positioning.

Recently, another Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced its plans to invest 10 billion dollars to make electric cars. More recently, during the Shanghai Auto Show, another Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei showcased the prototype of its first electric SUV SF5.

Other smartphone makers, like Apple and Sony, have already started work on building their own cars. Sony threw a surprise at the CES 2020 by showcasing its first prototype Vision S to the world.