Exclusive: Huawei's Issues Keep OPPO, Others From Entering US

OPPO logo 2018 AM AH 6

OPPO is one of the larger smartphone makers in the world, consistently in the top five worldwide. However, the company is only officially present in 31 markets, and that does not include Europe or North America. However, there is a pretty big reason for OPPO not entering the US market, and that’s the ongoing saga between Huawei and the US government. OPPO told AndroidHeadlines that it likely won’t be coming to the US while the Trump Administration is running things. And it wasn’t just Huawei getting pushed out by Best Buy, AT&T and Verizon this year, but also President Trump blocking Broadcom from purchasing Qualcomm – OPPO had been in favor of Qualcomm opposing the Broadcom takeover. The Executive Order that President Trump signed blocking Broadcom’s takeover set precedent for potential mergers, but also expansions of Chinese companies for the remainder of his presidency – whether that’s another three or seven years.

President Trump has taken a hard stance on China in recent months, not only forcing the US carriers to drop their deals with Huawei for its latest smartphone but also by blocking Broadcom’s hostile takeover of Qualcomm. Of course, outside of the tech space, there are also tariffs that the President recently imposed on China. Making it a bit more of a hostile place for companies like OPPO to expand into. This is a big deal, and it doesn’t just affect OPPO, but the vast majority of other Chinese manufacturers. Huawei being pegged as a manufacturer that spies on its users – even though there have been multiple investigations into this, and no proof was found – has tainted other smartphone makers that are based in China. Many in the US believe that any smartphone from a Chinese brand is going to spy on them, which is understood to have tarnished OPPO and other companies’ brands on a global level. It’s not only the stigma of a “Chinese smartphone” spying on you, but also the fact that Chinese smartphones are often perceived by consumers as “cheap,” poorly made, and clones of iPhones. Which is mostly not true. Cloning iPhones is a fairly popular trend in China, but many smartphone makers have recently moved away from such practices, especially as they expand outside of their home country. But those three items also make things more difficult for OPPO in the context of its potential stateside expansion.

OPPO is still planning to expand this year, as the company also confirmed to AndroidHeadlines that it will be making its way back into Europe in 2018. However, it did not mention which specific countries it’ll be launching in. While many would have loved to see OPPO expand into the US this year, the chances of that happening remain slim to none. OPPO does want to come to the US, but right now things are a bit more difficult for the company to actually make its way into the country. On the other hand, the current state of affairs gives OPPO time to up its brand recognition worldwide, as the company is really not well-known in the Western hemisphere. It is fairly popular in Asia and especially in China which is still OPPO’s largest market.